Best Cosmetology Schools in Massachusetts [Updated for 2020]

The cosmetology profession has become more popular over the years. According to market research, the industry has seen a 1.8 percent growth in the last three years.

Some of this credit can be given to the high-quality training seen in cosmetology programs.

The best cosmetology schools in Massachusetts embody this.

The beauty industry has become an integral part of so many people’s lives. Think about it.

What do you see when you log on to social media? Beauty tutorials, influencers, and products galore. The impact is evident.

The poet Dorothy Parker said it best when she quipped, “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.”


Best Cosmetology Schools in Massachusettes Comparison Table

PhotoProductEditor's RatingPrice
Jupiter Beauty SchoolJupiter Beauty Academy4.5VIEW CURRENT PRICE
Catherine Hinds InstituteCatherine Hinds Institute5VIEW CURRENT PRICE
unnamedEmpire Beauty School4VIEW CURRENT PRICE
Ali May AcademyAli May Aesthetics Academy4VIEW CURRENT PRICE
Aesthetic Institute of MassachusettsAesthetic Institute of Massachusetts5VIEW CURRENT PRICE


Best Massachusetts Cosmetology Schools Reviews


Juniper Beauty Academy

Best cosmetology schools in Massachusetts

It doesn’t take much research to determine that everyone is a fan of Jupiter Beauty Academy – students and patrons alike.

Their location in Boston near I93 is very convenient for students familiar with the area, and those only in town for school.

The staff at Jupiter Beauty Academy treats their students well and do everything they can to ensure you pass your state board exams.

They have multiple programs available. Cosmetology, Aesthetics, and Nail Technology give students the tools they need to succeed in the beauty industry.

Cosmetology 1000 teaches students all about manicuring, hair care, facials and skincare, and nail techniques.

This course perfectly prepares students for any beauty career.

Aesthetics 600 dives deeper into beautification with facial massage, topical applications, facial waxing, and cosmetic application. This program further develops your skillset to become specialized in your field.

Nail Technology 100 is the end all be all course of nail care. If you are hoping to become a manicurist, this course is a must-have.

Eyelash Extension Certification gives students a better understanding of the anatomy of the human eye and how to administer the related services properly.

You will learn how to apply eyelash extensions safely without causing any damage to such a sensitive area.


  • Financial aid available through Pell Grants

  • Classes are taught in English AND Vietnamese

  • Flexible class schedules

  • Financial aid is not available for those with higher than an Associate’s degree

  • Only one program can be taken at a time with financial aid


Catherine Hinds Institute

Best cosmetology schools in massachusetts

Named for its founder, the Catherine Hinds Institute was the first accredited esthetics school in the country. That is no small feat.

Both current students and seasoned alumni agree that the instructors are helpful, friendly, and professional.

One stand out feature of this school is all the services and resources available to students.

  • Pearson VUE – resources to prepare students for their future exams.
  • Massachusetts One-Stop Career Centers – job assistance, career counseling, networking, workshops
  • Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) – resumes, portfolio development, business cards
  • American Spa – online magazine subscription for spa professionals
  • DERMASCOPE – industry-related articles, videos, and product guidelines
  • NASNPRO – leading resources for building your spa, salon, or wellness business
  • American Academy of Dermatology Association – patient care education and resources for skin disease and disorders
  • PCA Skin – information on the science behind skin conditions and popular cosmetic ingredients
  • Lash Affair – an excellent source for eyelash extension supplies and training.

This commitment to providing additional resources for students is a testament to the staff at the Catherine Hinds Institute.

The hands-on training gained in the top-rated student clinic provides the program enrollees the necessary experience to beautify the public immediately after graduation.


  • Remote learning courses

  • Multiple financial aid options available

  • Price of tuiton


Empire Beauty School

Best Cosmetology Schools in Massachusetts

Unlike many other cosmetology schools, Empire has sites scattered across the US. In fact, they currently have over 100 locations since recently acquiring the Regis academy corporation.

In recent years, Empire has developed an eco-friendly focus and has been implementing energy and water-saving routines.

This school focuses on core cosmetology concepts, giving its students a strong foundation.

The cosmetology course does tend to focus on the hairstyling side of beauty versus skincare and makeup.

That being said, if you are not interested in being a hairstylist, this may not be the program for you. Anesthetics/aesthetics course is offered as well.

This program focuses on facials, waxing, and makeup. Classes are conveniently offered in Boston, Framingham, and Malden.

All locations feature a student salon to provide a real hands-on experience.

The cosmetology program is a 1000 hour course and will adequately prepare you for all state exams.

You can find many Empire graduates in the celebrity world, flaunting their skills on a big scale.


  • Multiple locations across the US

  • Involved in community events

  • Poor follow through on promised services


Ali May Aesthetics Academy

The Ali May Aesthetics Academy, located in Quincy, offers a 300-hour esthetics program and a 100-hour manicuring course.

They also occasionally provide extra eyelash extensions classes.

Their schedule is flexible, including day and evening classes. This makes it possible for students to maneuver around their work schedules.

The founder of Ali May, Myin Chang, started her beauty journey at sixteen after applying makeup at her uncle’s wedding.

As an adult, she has dedicated her life to helping other aspiring artists achieve their dreams.

One of the most appealing aspects of this school is the tuition—especially when compared to other cosmetology schools in the Massachusetts area.

On average, students can expect to spend around $2,500. Other competitors are charging upward of $16,000.

For the beauty students n a budget, this potentially opens a lot of doors.


  • Low tuiton

  • Friendly Staff

  • Less notable than other cosmetology schools


Aesthetic Institute of Massachusetts

Best Cosmetology Schools in Massachusetts

For those who are already licensed and are looking to diversify their skills and portfolio, the Aesthetic Institute of Massachusetts in Waltham can deliver.

Dr. Joseph Russo if a board-certified surgeon that brings his expertise to the classroom.

His staff is comprised of registered nurses and professionals. They teache a variety of advanced classes that can take aestheticians to the next level.

  • Microneedling
  • Dermaplaning and Chemical Peels
  • PRP Therapies
  • Neurotoxins
  • Injecting with Sculptra
  • Dermal Fillers
  • Injecting Microcannulas
  • Contouring with Kybella
  • Sclerotherapy

If you are interested in working with therapies such as injections, lasers, and body contouring, this is the program for you.

Each course is optional, and you pay per course.

That makes picking and choosing which therapies you want to learn even easier. This can be a very lucrative side of the business.

Celebrities and the elite favor it. With so many trying to find the fountain of youth, you can keep your hands busy with these skils.


  • Advanced courses designed for beginnners

  • Lucrative earning potential with acquired skills

  • Ideal for those already licensed


Decision Guide

Still can’t decide which school to choose? Let’s check out one last comparison to help you seal the deal.


Which School Has The Best Tuition Options?

Ali May Academy has the lowest tuition, but Catherine Hinds Institute has the most financial aid options.


What If I Have A Day Job?

Many of the schools mentioned here have flexible schedules.

Ali May Academy offers both day and evening classes. Jupiter Beauty School is offering remote learning right now due to COVID-19.

This applies to the first four weeks of school before any hands-on training is required.

The Aesthetic Institute of Massachusetts offers a flexible schedule throughout each month for each of the courses they offer.


Which School Has The Best Course Options?

This all depends on what you want your beauty niche to be.

Aesthetic Institute of Massachusetts has many different courses that encompass a somewhat higher-class of cosmetology but is recommended for those already licensed and established.

Jupiter Beauty Academy has three extra course options to strengthen your skillset, whether you want to focus on skin, nails, or hair care.


How Long Will I Be In School?

No matter what program you choose to go with, the requirements to be licensed in Massachusetts are the same.

You must attend a beauty school program in the state of Massachusetts and complete 1000 hours. Luckily, this doesn’t all have to be coursework.

Some of those hours can be satisfied with on-the-job hours. This can be in a student salon at the school or another pre-qualified arrangement.

Check with the school staff for more information about this option.


Will Finding A Job Be Difficult?

Jobs in the beauty industry have been moving upward. The important thing is to study hard and be sure to network.

The Catherine Hinds Institute is the best option, by far, for providing its students with a lot of extra resources.

If utilized, it is sure to help pave the way to success.


The Verdict

If you are looking for the best price, Ali May Academy is the way to go.

For those that aren’t worried about the cost, Jupiter Beauty Academy is a stellar choice. However, the best overall pick is the Catherine Hinds Institute.

They go the extra mile to make sure students are prepared for their exams and their future careers.

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