10 Top Rated Cosmetology Programs in Oregon

Oregon has quietly become a haven for fashionistas with modern, millennial sensibilities. A distinctively punky sense of style pervades the Portland area, both hip and laid-back, while natural is always in style in Eugene. The muted tones and moss-infused exterior of schools and salons in the state give way to some of the hottest and most original styling going on in the entire country. There is no better place in the country than Oregon to learn the cosmetology trade. With an average tuition cost of only $13,612, these schools are very affordable, making training accessible everywhere from Portland to Medford!

View details here on the criteria we used to select top schools.

Here you’ll find our pick for the top ten beauty academies in Oregon offering full cosmetology programs.

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Beau Monde College of Hair Design - Portland


  • Tuition: $16,578
  • Kit Cost: $875
  • Program Length: 16 months

Beau Monde is unusual among cosmetology schools in that they measure progress not by clock hours, but by students’ ability to demonstrate competency. The course is demanding, but effective. Students get the benefit of studying in some of the flashiest salon spaces in town, courtesy of a recent expansion and remodeling project. Participation in charity events such as the annual Cut-A-Thon brings a community focus to the program. Scholarships are available and VA benefits are accepted. The school offers a Study Abroad program that allows students to take classes in global fashion centers such as Tokyo, Paris, and Milan. When they get back home, the college has a dedicated career services section to help with job placements!

Bella Institute School of Cosmetology - Portland


  • Tuition: $9,235
  • Kit Cost: $1,200
  • Program Length: 10 months

The Bella Institute offers a great value with below average tuition costs. Their diverse programs are designed to get students into the industry ahead of the competition, and they look for candidates with the right sort of drive and focus to succeed. A competency-based skills assessment means that no one advances until they demonstrate the ability to use what they have been taught. Scholarships are sometimes made available covering up to a third of the total cost of tuition. A terrific, wood-paneled salon space makes this school fit right in to the all-natural Pacific Northwest esthetic.

College of Hair Design Careers - Salem


  • Tuition: $13,950
  • Kit Cost: $1,375
  • Program Length: 17 months

When this school named itself the College of Hair Design, they weren’t kidding: the ProDesign cutting system that is taught demands students exercise the utmost in creativity and determination. In return, they leave the program with a set of cutting skills that outshine the competition and make them solid candidates for any Oregon salon. More than half of students finish the 17-month program on time. The school accepts G.I. Bill benefits.

Imani Institute of Cosmetology - Ashland


  • Tuition: $21,900
  • Kit Cost: $2,700
  • Program Length: 15 months

The Imani Institute is more than just a great school—it is an upscale spa that provides a serene, beautiful, trendy space for learning. Cool colors and bright spaces make Imani’s interior a pleasant place to show up and study every morning. The school encourages students to apply for their scholarship offerings, and accepts VA program benefits.

Johnny Matthew’s Hairdressing Training School - Salem


  • Tuition: $10,000
  • Kit Cost: Included in tuition
  • Program Length: 11 months

Johnny Matthew’s hardwood floors and weathered, exposed beams make it look like a high fashion REI rather than a New York-style salon, but the sensibility is perfect for the upscale Salem location of this school. The school gets an extra accolade for its unique JM Geometric Hair Crafting technological training system, which was developed by instructors at the school after 25 years of experience in the industry. The school even offers overseas educational opportunities, giving students the option of studying in London for a term.

Northwest College School of Beauty - Portland


  • Tuition: $18,731
  • Kit Cost: $2,975
  • Program Length: 19 months

The well-lit, silver and black salon spaces of the Northwest College of Beauty could be transplanted instantly into any upscale New York salon without anyone noticing the difference. The style goes way beyond superficial appearances, however. The top cosmetology school in Oregon is serious about preparing students for jobs in the style industry. A strong focus on business skills complements fashion education here.

Scholarships, along with the fact that Northwest accepts G.I. Bill benefits helps keep debt down for students. Most graduate on time, and a job placement program helps them find work when they do. The school also has strong ties to the community, with students participating in an annual drive for the Oregon Food Bank to help eliminate hunger throughout the state.

Paul Mitchell School - Portland


  • Tuition: $12,625
  • Kit Cost: $1,500
  • Program Length: 12 months

Paul Mitchell schools are known everywhere for the Paul Mitchell cutting system, an exclusive benefit to attending one of Paul’s programs. The Portland location has something else up its sleeve for students: surprisingly low costs, which make for very low student loan debt, and a 100 percent job placement rate on graduation. Like all Paul Mitchell locations, this one accepts VA benefits and has numerous national scholarships to offer for deserving candidates.

Phagans' Cosmetology College - Bend


  • Tuition: $11,420
  • Kit Cost: $2,470
  • Program Length: 13 months

Bend is a trendy little resort destination that few outside the Pacific Northwest know about, but it’s no stranger to fashion, and Phagan’s helps keep the local salons on the cutting edge. Instead of relying on packaged industry manuals to teach from, Phagan’s has developed their own textbooks. Their unique cutting system doesn’t mean extra costs, though; the tuition rates are some of the lowest in the state. The school also offers scholarships and accepts VA benefits. A serious emphasis on business skills rounds off the program.

Portland Beauty School - Portland


  • Tuition: $7,100
  • Kit Cost: $1,800
  • Program Length: 6 months

The Portland Beauty School cosmetology program is the least expensive on our list. It is also the shortest, making it a good option for students with a tight timeline for accomplishing their goals. But despite the fast pace, the school and its students find time to do good in the community: students are encouraged to participate in the Portland Women’s Expo, donating time and makeovers for the show.

Roseburg Beauty College - Roseburg


  • Tuition: $14,590
  • Kit Cost: $1,850
  • Program Length: 19 months

Roseburg Beauty College offers scholarships to graduating seniors and accepts VA benefits for qualified military veterans. The school strives to impart both the fundamentals of hair design and professional attitudes and skills to students.

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