The Best Online Hairstyling Courses in 2021

The Best Online Hairstyling Courses in 2021

Hairstyling is an ever-popular skill that can be learned either as a hobby or as part of an overall professional hairstyling course. Because hairstyling is almost always in demand, it can be a great idea to learn it if you want to offer services to family, friends, clients, or to even use it on yourself! That being said, there are a number of online hairstyling courses out there that you can choose from as you get started with first-time learning or improving your skills.

To help you select the perfect online hairstyling course for your needs, we’ve created a list of the best course options out there. We’ll also be providing you with the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, so you can put any lingering worries about taking a hairstyling course to rest.

Orientation

Before we get to our reviews of today’s best hairstyling courses, we first need to cover some important introductory information that will help you evaluate which option is the best for you and your goals.

What Type of Hairstyling Do You Want to Learn?

One of the most important things to think about before selecting a hairstyling course is the type of hairstyling that you would like to learn. This can include braiding, caring for afro-textured hair, installing weaves, wedding hairstyling, and hair cutting.

However, it is important to note that the majority of the courses on our list will stick primarily to teaching hairstyling skills, which involves the styling, braiding, and decorating of hair, rather than hairdressing itself — which covers shampooing, cutting, and coloring techniques.

What Is Your Current Skill Level?

You can learn hairstyling at any skill level, and there is sure to be a course out there tailored for your learning needs. Total beginners at hairstyling may appreciate starting with a general overview or a basic course, while those who have more experience may want to select a course with a specific focus, such as wedding hairstyling, or one that is on the more professional side.

Course Lengths and Costs

Hairstyling courses can range in length from 1- to 2-hour courses to full, professional 200-hour courses. The price will fluctuate accordingly from more budget-friendly and accessible prices to ones that are more on the premium end.

Typically, the longer and more professionally-oriented the hairstyling course is, the higher the overall cost will be. Additionally, if you receive an accredited or professional certificate from your hairstyling course, you can expect to pay more.

Materials and Equipment Needed

For most hairstyling courses, you won’t need to purchase any outside equipment – all you need is your own hair or a willing volunteer to let you practice on their hair. That being said, you may find it easier to purchase a practice mannequin head for hairstyling, in addition to having basic tools such as hairbrushes, combs, hair ties, and hair clips.

Courses that are professionally focused will often provide students with a kit of hairstyling equipment, or they will recommend products to purchase, so make sure that you pay attention to the requirements upon enrolling for more information.

Now that you understand the basics of what to look for in an online hairstyling course, let’s get straight to our breakdown of the best options out there!

Top 9 Best Online Hairstyling Courses 2021


1. Professional Hair and Makeup Artistry

  • 2 hours $84.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • Hairstyling Content: Wedding hairstyling, photoshoot hairstylist, basic makeup artistry
  • Focuses on building up versatile skills

Why we like it

The Professional Hair and Makeup Artistry course is perfect for both beginners and intermediate hairstylists who want to build up versatile hair and makeup skills.

What You’ll Learn

Taught by a full-time professional hair and makeup stylist, this course covers everything a beginner hairstylist needs to know about basic hair braiding, curling, and styling techniques. Students learn how to work with time constraints to create the best possible looks for their clients and how to apply basic bridal, photoshoot, or vintage makeup looks to accompany their hairstyles.

As a bonus, this course gives information on photoshoot and fashion styling for both hair and makeup and gives extra information on skin care techniques that students can share with their clients — earning them a great reputation and repeat customers.

On the downside, some students may find that the information in this course is not as in-depth as other courses, and there may be some confusion over specific braiding techniques. The course may also have too much focus on makeup for those who want a completely dedicated hairstyling course.

Pros

  • Teaches how to style hair while under time constraints
  • Students learn versatile hair and makeup skills
  • Great for beginners or intermediate learners
  • Gives tips for photoshoot and fashion styling

Cons

  • Information does not go as in-depth as other courses
  • May have too much focus on makeup for some


2. Online Makeup Academy Pro Hairstyling Course

  • 6 modules, self-paced $849 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced
  • Hairstyling Content: Basic hairstyling techniques, advanced hair creations, professional hairstyling marketing
  • Prepares students for a career in hairstyling

Why we like it

The Online Makeup Academy’s Pro Hairstyling Course is a great choice for those who want to make hairstyling a major part of their career.

What You’ll Learn

The hairstyling course offered by Online Makeup Academy is perfect for learners of any level who want to start a career in hairstyling. The course does start with the basics of hair braiding, curling, and creative updos, but it also includes information about owning your own hairstyling business and interacting with clients. Students receive a certification upon completion of the course, and the Academy is accredited.

For ease of learning, a free hair kit is included with the purchase of this course. It includes heat styling tools, hair clips, a mannequin head for practice, and other accessories that you need to complete your course assignments. It is a great choice for someone who wants to get serious about hairstyling. Additionally, live tutors offer feedback on assignments, so you can continue to improve and ensure your techniques are correct at any point during the online course.

Because this is a professionally targeted course, it is more expensive. It can also require significant time commitments to complete compared with other courses on our list, as it contains a lot of information and is completely self-paced. If you are looking for a short hairstyling basics course, this would not be the best option for you.

Pros

  • Live tutors offer assignment feedback
  • Great choice for starting a career in hairstyling
  • Hair kit with equipment is included
  • Offers an accredited certificate

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Requires significant time commitment


3. Hair Braiding Course for Beginners

  • 1.5 hours $34.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginners
  • Hairstyling Content: Basic beginner braiding techniques
  • Perfect for absolute beginners

Why we like it

This braiding course is the best choice for absolute beginners who want to start building up their hairstyling skills.

What You’ll Learn

This mini-course is great for absolute beginners who want an introduction to braiding. Lessons taught include various types of braids and how to incorporate them into formal updos. This ensures that students understand the versatility of the braids they are learning. The instructor for this course is a professional hairstylist with extensive hair experience, and her tutorial explanations are nicely clear and detailed.

Students who master this course can move on to a more advanced braiding course offered by the same instructor, which is a great option to continue improving on your hairstyling skills or for more intermediate learners.

This course is not the best choice for someone who already has hairstyling experience, since the information is very basic and introductory.

Pros

  • Great mini course on basic braids
  • Students can move to a full course after completion
  • Instructor is a professional hairstylist with extensive experience

Cons

  • Not the best choice for anyone with hairstyling experience


4. Black Hair Does Grow

  • 2 hours $24.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • Hairstyling Content: Tools and techniques to properly care for afro hair
  • Educates students about caring for afro-textured hair

Why we like it

This course provides vital education about caring for and styling afro-textured hair.

What You’ll Learn

If you want to do well as a hairstylist you will need to learn how to style different hair types. Afro-textured hair, also referred to as coily or “type 4” hair, requires specialized caring and styling techniques so as not to damage the integrity of this unique hair type.

This course provides notes and complete educational content about afro-textured hair so that students can learn the basics. It is a great choice for anyone who is considering making afro-textured hair their styling specialty.

In this course, information about creating more advanced styles is limited, so true beginners to afro-hairstyling will benefit the most. Intermediate learners who are looking to learn specific braiding or hair extension application techniques may want to take a look at Udemy’s Hairstyling course below.

Pros

  • Educational content about curly, coily, and afro-textured hair types
  • Course notes are provided for easy learning
  • Great for students wanting to specialize in type 4 hairstyling
  • Teaches how to care for and encourage growth in afro hair

Cons

  • Information on more advanced styles is limited


5. The Art of Great Wedding Makeup and Hair

  • 5.5 hours $19.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Hairstyling Content: Tailored wedding hairstyles, wedding makeup, bridal consultations
  • Teaches students the best techniques for creating wedding hairstyles

Why we like it

This course is a fantastic option for anyone who wants to specialize in hairstyling for brides and bridal parties.

What You’ll Learn

This course is a great choice for those who are interested in creating wedding and bridal hairstyles. The lesson plan includes information about how to style hair based on the specific wedding venue and season, which can earn you a reputation as an attentive, creative hairstylist. Students also learn how to properly consult with a bride and apply their hairstyling knowledge to what look they want to achieve.

Basic bridal makeup instructions are included in this course, which is good for a hairstylist who wants to be well-rounded in all aspects of wedding styling. The instructor’s explanations throughout the course are very detailed and clear, making for easy learning.

However, this course is lacking when it comes to instruction on hair braiding. A lot of the styles shown skip over the basic braiding elements, so beginners may feel lost and have to rewatch the course videos many times until they understand the techniques shown.

Pros

  • Perfect for those interested in wedding hairstyles
  • Teaches students how to style hair based on venue and season
  • Includes basic bridal makeup instruction
  • Instructor is very clear when explaining

Cons

  • Not enough information about hair braiding techniques


6. The Secrets to Curling Hair- Curling Iron, Wand & Flat Iron

  • 5 hours $89.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner
  • Hairstyling Content: Various techniques for curling hair
  • Perfect for learning the basics of hair curling

Why we like it

A great introduction to curling techniques, this course gives students both the basics and more advanced curling tips.

What You’ll Learn

The Secrets to Curling Hair course offers students a great introduction to the basics of curling hair with all types of heat styling tools. This builds up the versatility of skills and works as a great lesson for beginners to heat styling. Lessons include building texture with flat irons and curling wands, and creating different types of natural-looking curls to complement all types of hairstyles.

Some of the information in this course can be a little bit repetitive and the instructor tends to give the same explanations several times over instead of breaking down their technique to make things clearer. This can be a drawback to those who value detailed and varied explanations, instead of receiving the same information repeated a few times.

Pros

  • Great for learning all types of curling techniques
  • Perfect for beginners to heat styling tools
  • Teaches how to create natural-looking curl styles

Cons

  • Some information can be repetitive


7. Michael Boychuck Hair Academy

  • 50 to 190 hours $400 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Intermediate or Advanced
  • Hairstyling Content: Professional hairstyling techniques, hairstyling equipment, and updos
  • A professional fashion and celebrity hairstyling-focused course

Why we like it

The Michael Boychuck Hair Academy course is a fashion and celebrity focused professional hairstyling course that is perfect for intermediate learners.

What You’ll Learn

There are multiple levels of courses to choose from with the Michael Boychuck Hair Academy, though only the 50-hour course is exclusively focused on hairstyling; upper levels of the course include hair cutting and coloring techniques that you may or may not want to invest in learning. Whichever course you purchase is professionally focused and designed to help you obtain a career in hairstyling.

Every course offered by the Academy also comes with a certificate. There is a large focus on fashion, photoshoot, and celebrity styling in this course, which makes it a great option if you are pursuing a career in these fields.

This course may be overwhelming for a beginner, although there is no experience required to enroll in it. It doesn’t cover the basics of hairstyling as in-depth as some other courses, which may leave beginners feeling a little confused. More advanced learners may have better results with this course.

Pros

  • Multiple course levels to choose from
  • Completely professionally focused
  • Every course level comes with a certificate
  • Focuses on fashion and celebrity hairstyling

Cons

  • Might be overwhelming for a beginner
  • Doesn’t cover the basics in-depth


8. Hairstyling

  • 2 hours $19.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • Hairstyling Content: Basic cornrowing, braiding, sew-in, and hair extension application methods
  • Goes in-depth on cornrows, braids, and sew-in hair

Why we like it

The Hairstyling course provides detailed explanations about how to create more intermediate styles on afro-textured hair.

What You’ll Learn

This course is perfect for beginners who are new to styling afro-textured hair and are ready to learn more advanced styling techniques. The lesson plan for this course includes cornrowing, braiding, sew-in, and hair extension applications, which gives students a good overview of the most popular afro hairstyles and protective styles.

The instructor for this course provides highly detailed explanations so that students can practice their techniques at home easily as if they were being talked through every step by an in-person instructor. If you are especially interested in learning how to apply hair extensions, this course is a good choice for you.

Unfortunately, the video demonstrations are a little hard to see. The camera doesn’t provide close-ups of the instructor’s hands, so it may be difficult to recreate the techniques without some guesswork and referencing outside sources.

Pros

  • Perfect for beginners to styling afro hair
  • Teaches cornrowing, braiding, and sew-in techniques
  • Great for learning how to apply hair extensions
  • Instructor provides detailed explanations

Cons

  • Technique demonstrations are difficult to see clearly


9. Hair Cutting 101

  • 1 hour $24.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner
  • Hairstyling Content: Basic hair cutting techniques
  • Provides haircutting and styling knowledge

Why we like it

This basic hair cutting course is the perfect complement to any hairstylist’s repertoire.

What You’ll Learn

The Hair Cutting 101 course teaches exactly what it says and provides students with a clear breakdown and introduction to hair cutting. It is a great option for beginner hairstylists who want to understand the basics of hair cutting so that they can take into account specific cuts when creating their client’s styles. The course is short and easily completed, making it accessible to most students. It is also a good refresher course for more intermediate hairstylists.

The instructor for this course can be a little unclear when it comes to giving instruction and tends to repeat themselves, making for some confusion. The video demonstrations are also lacking in that they don’t show enough close-ups. They also end the session early so that students can’t get an idea of what the completed product looks like.

Pros

  • Great introduction to hair cutting
  • Perfect for beginning hairstylists who want basic knowledge
  • Easily completed short course

Cons

  • Instructor can be unclear
  • Video demonstrations may be lacking


Online Hairstyling Course Frequently Asked Questions

After reading our review of the best hairstyling courses out there, you may have some lingering questions about selecting one or what is needed to upgrade your hairstyling from hobby to professional level.

If you are just planning to offer your services to friends and family and don’t plan to make a career out of your hairstyling skills, then you don’t need a certificate. Many of the courses on our list come with certificates of completion, but only accredited courses, such as the Online Makeup Academy Pro Hairstyling Course, are able to provide you with a certificate to show you are professionally licensed.

If you plan to start a business or make a career out of your hairstylist, you will need to complete a professional, accredited course and obtain any other necessary state licensing requirements before setting up a business and charging clients for your services.

While many people use these terms interchangeably, hairdressing typically refers to the process of cutting, shampooing, and coloring hair, while hairstyling is the art of styling, braiding, decorating, and applying hair extensions or weave to hair.

If you want to become a hairdresser, you will likely need to enroll in a professional hair cutting or barbering school. These courses are not typically offered online due to the practice requirements needed and can instead be found at local hair schools in your area.

Most hairstyling courses are taught by professionals or other career hairstylists, and as such, are not often free. However, you may find free classes locally or access a number of free hairstyling tutorials on video services like YouTube. These platforms are a good place to start building foundational skills and introducing yourself to the world of hairstyling.

Just keep in mind that if you plan to make hairstyling your career, you will most likely need to pay for a course and any applicable licensing or certification fees.

It can be difficult to estimate how long it will take you to be a proficient hairstylist because people learn differently; what may take you no time to learn may take others a significant amount of time. Additionally, like many other careers, those who choose to be hairstylists are continually improving their craft and may always be on the lookout for new, innovative courses.

In general, you can refer to yourself as a hairstylist once you can easily perform basic hairstyling tasks such as braids, curling, and straightening hair, in addition to creating updos, formal looks, and working with hair extensions or weaves. How long this takes to master depends on the courses you enroll in and your personal learning style.

If you are enrolled in a professional course that is intended to set you up for a career in hairstyling, the course will likely have an hourly requirement that needs to be met before you earn your certificate. How long it takes you to complete these hours once again depends on the speed of the class, your individual learning style, and how often you study the course materials.

It is possible to learn hairstyling completely online, but you will need something, or someone, to practice your skills on; after all, practice is an essential part of improving your techniques and understanding how to effectively create styles on clients.

If you can’t find any volunteers to let you practice your techniques on, you can purchase a mannequin head complete with attached hair to build up your skills. Many students prefer using mannequin heads as it allows them to practice any hour of the day without the worry of potentially ruining someone’s hair.

If you want to take your hairstyling to the next level, you likely need a consistent source of practice materials that includes heat styling tools, hair clips, mannequin heads, hair decorations, and other accessories. You can purchase many of these online from websites like Amazon, or you can shop for them at your local beauty store.

It is also possible that a professional course, like the Pro Hairstyling Course will send you a complete kit of hairstyling tools for you to practice with while you learn.

It is completely possible to make a career out of your hairstyling skills. If you want to charge clients for your services, you need to put in lots of practice hours building up your skills and you’ll need to obtain professional certifications or other state licenses.

The average salary of a hairstylist, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is around $27,000 per year. However, because hairstylists can often set their own schedules and pricing, you can earn much more and build a successful career with the correct business and marketing techniques.



Extra Credit

hairstylist braiding afro-textured hair

Once you have a good idea about which online hairstyling course might be best for your needs, you can check out our section below on turning your love for hairstyling into a career.

Setting Up Your Own Hairstyling Business

For many, hairstyling is something that started out as a hobby, but that quickly rose to the place of a potential career option. No matter your current experience level with hairstyling, it is possible to turn your love for the art into a successful and fulfilling career. Setting up your own hairstyling business is the best way to do this. Below, we give you some tips on what this may entail.

Choose a Specialty

While many people choose to offer all types of hairstyling services to their clients, you may want to choose a specialty for yourself, as this can help you build a reputation. Selecting something like hair extension styling, wedding hairstyling, or sew-ins can help build your name in the local community and make you a go-to for that specific type of service.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t learn and be practiced at other types of hairstyling, but it is a good idea to consider a niche for your hairstyling services when setting up your business.

Obtain Professional Licensing

After you’ve selected the type of hairstyling you would like to primarily offer, you need to obtain the necessary licensing and certifications to legally provide hairstyling services. This means that you likely have to complete a professional hairstyling course as well as meet your state’s requirements for hairstylists.

If you are confused about what your local hairstyling licensure requirements are, you can visit the professional licensing area of your state’s government website or contact the clerk’s office of your city or county for more information.

Attracting Clients

A big part of being a professional hairstylist is putting in the groundwork to attract clients to your business. This means that you should provide quality hairstyling and expert customer service to make customers feel comfortable and taken care of. If you need help with this, you can find additional courses on consulting with clients online or through services like YouTube.

Keep in mind that word of mouth and good reviews are some of the best ways to secure new and returning customers, so you should strive to build up a positive reputation for your hairstyling business if you want to maximize your earnings.

Social Media Presence

These days, it is increasingly important to make your presence known on social media platforms. For hairstylists, Facebook and Instagram are the most popular, as both platforms allow you to interact with potential customers and post pictures of your work while giving a preview of your services.

It can be difficult to start your social media account at first, and it is very easy to become absorbed in keeping the platform up to date, but you should strive to find a balance between creating great work and posting pictures.

Remember, client reviews and word of mouth are the best way to promote and grow your business, so while it is tempting to try and get your hairstylist business to go viral online, you shouldn’t put all your time into social media.

This article can help you further understand how to manage a social media account for your hairstyling business.

Make Your Services Competitive

Even though you may think that your services are the best out there and should be priced accordingly, you need to keep your hairstyling services competitive. This doesn’t mean charging rock bottom prices that you can barely get by on, but it does mean being realistic about prices for your clients.

You could also employ the business strategy of returning customer discounts and bundle deals (this is especially popular for wedding hairstyling) in order to secure more business and more repeat clients.

Before deciding on prices for your hairstyling services, it is a good idea to research what similar businesses are offering and price your services accordingly.

Style Your Way to Fun and Success

Whether hairstyling is a hobby that you enjoy or something that you wish to turn into a career, these courses can help you expand your knowledge horizons and provide you with a valuable education in hairstyling.

Hairstyling is a popular, often sought-after skill that also allows a lot of creative freedom. Once you’ve started perfecting your techniques, you can work on building up your reputation as someone who can create any number of unique, beautiful hairstyles for clients or family members, effectively styling your way to fun and success.