9 Top Rated Cosmetology Programs in Virginia

Whether you’d like to practice cosmetology in historical Washington, D.C. or Arlington, or you’re drawn to the coastal culture of Virginia Beach, Virginia is full of opportunities for hairdressers to work with clients interested in classic, timeless dos as well as stylists looking to explore the limits of the latest styles.

We’ve compiled a list of ten excellent, accredited schools that offer students the education they need to become licensed in Virginia as they prepare for success in the salon industry. These schools are affordable, with an average tuition cost of $15,260 you’ll be off and running in your career with a modest investment.

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

Here’s our pick for the ten best beauty schools in Virginia offering cosmetology programs that meet the requirements for state licensure.

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Graham Webb International Academy of Hair - Arlington


  • Tuition: $16,600
  • Kit Cost: $1,200
  • Program Length: 13 months

Located in beautiful Arlington, you’ll have the opportunity to study cosmetology in an area brimming with history. Through the Graham Webb International Academy of Hair, you’ll learn all the essentials of hair design, professional ethics, developing your own sense of style, modern fashion influences, client awareness, and network and business-building skills. The Academy offers classes starting three times a year, and each student is offered guidance through the school’s career services center.

Miller-Motte Technical College - Roanoke


  • Tuition: $20,788
  • Kit Cost: $1,070
  • Program Length: 12 months

Through the Miller-Motte Technical College, you’ll be able to study fundamentals of cosmetology, experience hands-on training in a salon, and prepare for the state board exam. The school offers assistance financing your education through scholarship opportunities and VA benefits for veterans. The school offers lifetime career assistance for students—if at any time during your career you’d like to seek out a new position, Miller-Motte will offer you career counseling for free!

Paul Mitchell School - Woodbridge


  • Tuition: $15,050
  • Kit Cost: $3,400
  • Program Length: 11 months

Located close to Washington, D.C., the Woodbridge Paul Mitchell school is steeped in culture and community. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in student-led hair shows and competitions, which will allow you to give back to charity as well as showcase your skills. The fast-paced program will help you earn your license and begin practicing in less than a year! In the top-notch, modern salon, you’ll learn about the Paul Mitchell cutting system and products and have the opportunity to practice techniques on mannequins and clients. If you’re interested in pursuing financial aid, the school accepts VA benefits and even offers scholarship opportunities.

Rudy & Kelly Academy - Virginia Beach


  • Tuition: $16,000
  • Kit Cost: $2,650
  • Program Length: 12 months

The coastal atmosphere of Virginia Beach surrounds the Rudy & Kelly Academy, a Paul Mitchell partner school. Close to the oceanfront, nightlife, and cultural events, Rudy & Kelly Academy offers the opportunity to learn the Paul Mitchell cutting system and network within the Virginia Beach community. Like all Paul Mitchell schools, Rudy & Kelly is invested in opportunities for students to participate in charity events such as hair and beauty shows. To help finance your education, the school accepts VA benefits and offers scholarship opportunities for excellent students.

Sylvain Melloul International Hair Academy - Lynchburg


  • Tuition: $14,750
  • Kit Cost: $2,195
  • Program Length: 12 months

With a gorgeous studio space and confident, creative instructors, The Sylvain Melloul International Hair Academy is an excellent choice for students seeking a premier education in cosmetology. The curriculum seeks to build independence and creativity in each student and helps give you the tools to build your own business and clientele. The school uses the L’Oréal system and products and can give you connections to the L’Oréal Professional salon network.

An impressive percentage—94%–of the academy’s graduates have secured a position in a local salon directly after graduation due to the school’s excellent training and its career counseling services. The school also accepts GI Bill benefits as a way to honor and include the many qualified veterans in the area

Virginia College - Richmond


  • Tuition: $21,325
  • Kit Cost: Unavailable
  • Program Length: 11 months

Located in Richmond, Virginia College works with each student to provide individualized cosmetology training. You can choose from either day or night classes, and each class is kept small to ensure that you’ll receive personalized attention from instructors. You’ll learn through the internationally known Pivot Point curriculum, which combines theory and technique with essential business training. The school will also work to help place you in a salon that’s a perfect fit for you immediately after graduation. Active in the Richmond community, as a student of Virginia College you’ll have the opportunity to practice your cosmetology skills at charity events. Virginia College also offers VA benefits for veterans.

Virginia School of Hair Design - Hampton


  • Tuition: $10,000
  • Kit Cost: $574
  • Program Length: 12 months

Through Virginia School of Hair Design’s cosmetology program, you’ll be prepared for a successful career as an expert stylist. The school’s program is extremely affordable with a much lower than average tuition, and you’ll be able to finish it in just a year. Not only that, but 92% of the program’s graduates find their place in a salon they love immediately following graduation thanks to Virginia School’s job placement services. If you’re a veteran, you’ll be able to use your VA benefits through the school.

Wards Corner Beauty Academy - Norfolk


  • Tuition: $19,750
  • Kit Cost: $1,600
  • Program Length: 12 months

Wards Corner Beauty Academy will allow you to pursue a career in cosmetology within a year. Norfolk is filled with historic sites and outdoor concerts and events, and you’ll be able to enjoy the wonderful Norfolk community while pursuing your education and preparing for your cosmetology license exams. Through the program, you’ll learn to color, cut, and style as well as learn to perform basic nail and skincare services.

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