9 Top Rated Cosmetology Programs in Tennessee

The style and culture of Nashville, Knoxville, and Memphis has spread across the entire country. Whether your clients are looking for country flair inspired by Nashville’s music scene, or something as elegant and avant-garde as anything you’d see on a catwalk in Paris, you’ll be able to provide them with the best possible services after graduating and earning your cosmetologist license. No matter which program you choose, you can be sure that you’ll learn the latest trends and classic favorites in cutting and styling. As an added bonus, the average cost of tuition for the ten schools that made our list is an affordable $14,978.

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

Here’s our pick for the top ten schools offering cosmetology programs in Tennessee that meet the requirements for state licensure:

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Aveda Institute - Nashville


  • Tuition: $18,500
  • Kit Cost: $1,500
  • Program Length: 13 months

Located in Nashville, the Aveda institute is a well-known name placed in an area full of culture and opportunity for stylists. The Aveda brand is known for its cutting system and natural, organic products, which you’ll learn about in the program. The Nashville facility’s curriculum is unique to the school in order to fit the needs of students in the area, and the program is further personalized to meet each student’s goals. You’ll study techniques, trends, business development, and retail knowledge. The school offers scholarship opportunities, and after graduation, you’ll be supported with career counseling.

Mister Wayne’s School of Unisex Hair Design - Cookeville


  • Tuition: $13,492
  • Kit Cost: $1,508
  • Program Length: 12 months

Using high-end brands like Redken and OPI, Mister Wayne’s School of Unisex Hair Design strives to give students a complete experience complete with the latest tricks of the trade. Within a year, you could be on your way to a successful career in cosmetology! With a lower-than-average tuition and the opportunity to learn the Redken cutting system, Mister Wayne’s program offers a top quality education at an affordable price. The school also offers job placement services for all graduates.

Nashville Barber and Style Academy - Nashville


  • Tuition: $9,000
  • Kit Cost: $1,225
  • Program Length: 7 months

In only seven months, Nashville Barber and Style Academy can provide you with the training you’ll need to be successful as a cosmetologist. The school also boasts the lowest tuition of all ten schools that made our list. Through the curriculum, you’ll receive cosmetology education and business training. After graduation, the academy will help you with job placement services. The school is also an excellent choice if you’d like to add barbering to your repertoire.

Paul Mitchell School - Knoxville


  • Tuition: $15,800
  • Kit Cost: $2,500
  • Program Length: 12 months

Located in the middle of Nashville’s friendly, artistic culture, cosmetology students at Paul Mitchell learn the tips and tricks of the Paul Mitchell cutting system as well as essential business training in a beautiful facility. Because the name is well respected across the country, graduating from a Paul Mitchell school puts you a step ahead of other cosmetology program graduates. The school is also active in the Knoxville community, partnering with local charities for events like hair shows and cut-a-thons. The school offers scholarship opportunities each year, and you’ll also be able to pursue advanced education through the school after graduation to keep up with the latest trends.

Queen City College - Clarksville


  • Tuition: $13,824
  • Kit Cost: $1,176
  • Program Length:13 months

Queen City College hopes to produce stylists who are also leaders and innovators. With a low tuition rate and a program that can be completed in just over a year, Queen City College can help you quickly pursue a career in cosmetology without financial worries. The college also accepts VA benefits from qualified veterans. As a small college, if you’re looking for one-on-one, personalized instruction, Queen City College might be the right choice for you.

Tennessee Academy of Cosmetology - Memphis


  • Tuition: $15,850
  • Kit Cost: $2,000
  • Program Length: 13 months

Located in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee Academy of Cosmetology seeks to make each student marketable after graduating from the program. Through videos, textbooks, and hands-on instruction, you’ll learn the essential tools and procedures needed to become a successful cosmetologist. The school also honors VA benefits from veterans.

Tennessee School of Beauty - Knoxville


  • Tuition: $14,995
  • Kit Cost: $1,000
  • Program Length: 12 months

As a Redken Premier School, you’ll gain familiarity with the Redken cutting system and products that are extremely popular in salons throughout the country. In less than a year, you can become certified and successful as a cosmetologist. Accepting VA benefits from veterans and offering scholarship opportunities that you may qualify for, the Tennessee School of Beauty is an excellent choice for cosmetology students.

Volunteer Beauty Academy - Nashville


  • Tuition: $15,050
  • Kit Cost: $500
  • Program Length: 14 months

Through a curriculum that covers hairdressing skills and the practical application of those skills as well as manicuring, facials, and makeup, Volunteer Beauty Academy can help you achieve the training you need to become a licensed cosmetologist.

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