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Cosmetology

Enhance the beauty and wellbeing of others by learning all aspects of the hairstyling profession.

A stylist sprays hairspray on a client's freshly-cut hair in a salon setting.
NSCC graduate Thomas Melong works with a client in his Antigonish, Nova Scotia, salon.
Start Date:
September
Typical Length:
2 Years
Credential:
Diploma

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Overview

If you're artistic, use fashion as a creative outlet and have good manual dexterity, cosmetology may guide you to an exciting and fulfilling career where you can improve the quality of life for others.

Learn about:

  • Cutting, designing and styling hair
  • Colouring and lightening hair using a variety of techniques
  • Chemical curling and straightening hair
  • Using effective communication to perform client consultations
  • Business building through social media
  • Salon operations and management

Work experience

  • Field experience is a mandatory credit course, providing you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
    • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work experience are your responsibility.
  • For more information, visit work experience opportunities.

Clinical placement

  • This program includes mandatory clinical placements that may take place in a variety of settings.
    • Clinical placements can include weekday, evening, weekend and / or holiday shifts. Shifts range from 6-12 hours and start times vary.
    • Clinical placements are mandatory credit courses. They provide you with the opportunity to integrate theory with practice and understand the everyday challenges of a work environment.

Choose NSCC

  • This program reflects the industry's professional training requirements and is recognized by the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia (CANS).
  • This is the only program in the province offering the Men's Method course.
  • You learn from experienced instructors who are dedicated to ongoing professional development and maintain their involvement in provincial, national and international competitions, both as competitors and as judges.
  • Our cosmetology salons are set up to operate in the same manner as hairstyling salons. Your practical training begins on mannequins and progresses to salon clientele.
  • You have the opportunity to participate in Skills Nova Scotia, Skills Canada or Carnival of Beauty.

Other info

  • This program is not always offered at the same location each year. Check program locations for upcoming start dates.
  • You must purchase an approved shop kit within the first two weeks of the program start date. Campuses will provide information regarding the cost of the kit upon acceptance into the program.
  • To work in Nova Scotia, you're required to pass an examination administered by CANS, covering both practical and theoretical competencies. To be eligible to take the exam, you must have accumulated 1,500 hours under the direct supervision of a Master Hairdresser Instructor and have successfully completed all components of the program. Successful completion of the exam qualifies you for a Nova Scotia Cosmetologist Hairdressing license, which permits stylists to work independently.
  • To achieve your 1,500 hours, you must maintain regular attendance.

Availability

September 2024

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Annapolis Valley Campus
Classes at Middleton Middleton
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.
Seats available

September 2025

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Burridge Campus
Yarmouth
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.
Seats available
Pictou Campus
Stellarton
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.
Seats available
Sydney Waterfront Campus
Sydney
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.
Seats available

Admission requirements

Program requirements

  • A current, official criminal record check and vulnerable sector check are required to complete work placements in many programs. A conviction may impact your ability to complete program requirements.
  • All programs in Health and Human Services require First Aid/CPR as a graduation requirement. For specific program requirements, view additional Health and Human Services program requirements
  • Many Health and Human Services programs have additional requirements, including immunizations. You must submit proof that you've completed these requirements by the date provided to you at the beginning of your program. View additional Health and Human Services program requirements
    • Receiving immunizations may take up to 10 months to complete.
    • Failure to complete immunizations can result in a delayed work placement, which will impact your ability to complete program and graduation requirements.
  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.
  • Pass mark for this program is 70%.

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Graduates are eligible to complete the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia's provincial exam to earn a license to practise in Nova Scotia.
  • Graduates will feel confident in their cosmetology skills, ready to pursue an entrepreneurial path or join a salon team.
  • Some graduates are employed with beauty supply companies as consultants or sales representatives.
  • Graduates have become platform artists and educators.

Future study options

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

COSM 1001 - Professional Image
This course introduces personal and professional health, physical presentation, human relations and professional attitude. Students will develop and demonstrate a positive professional attitude and will be evaluated on interactions with others, appropriate dress code and code of ethics.

COSM 1002 - Bacteriology/Infection Control
This course provides students with practice and theory in the study of microbes. Upon completion of this course, students will be familiar with methods to control microbes in the salon environment and prevent the spread of disease.

COSM 1009 - Hair Colouring/Lightening I
A solid foundation in hair colouring and lightening is necessary in order to meet the challenges of one of today’s most artistic and popular services. This course introduces students to the theoretical and procedural foundations of hair colouring.

COSM 1016 - Chemical Texture Services I
Students will study aspects of chemically rearranging the bonds of the hair for texture relating to permanent waving.

COSM 1020 - Salon Business Operations and Entrepreneurship
This course introduces students to the different structures of salon businesses and management. Students will be introduced to business plans, marketing strategies and self-promotion using social media. The value of lifelong learning to maintain currency in skills and the knowledge for a successful salon business are also explored.

COSM 1034 - Hair and Scalp Structure and Care
This course will enable students to recognize and identify the basic components of the hair and its associated structures. Students will be able to analyze the hair and scalp, recognize disorders and diseases as well as recommend treatment services to clients. This course also provides foundational theory relating to shampooing, finishing rinses, conditioners, and basic hair treatments.

COSM 1058 - Artistry of Hair Styling/Cutting I
The course introduces the basic principles of cutting mechanics. Students will identify hair shaping tools, angles, elevation and cutting techniques as well as blowing drying, ironing, thermal styling, straightening and curling. Upon completion, students will have the knowledge of appropriate techniques required for creating artistic and pleasing styles.

COSM 1060 - Cosmetology Skills Lab I
This course allows students to develop and practise skills related to the theory covered throughout the Cosmetology program at an introductory level. Students are required to demonstrate professional conduct competencies at all times in the lab setting. Attendance at labs is required to successfully demonstrate skills and meet the hours required by the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) for program completion.

COSM 1104 - Introduction to Communications for Cosmetology
This course provides the student with an overview of the communication skills required by Cosmetology industry. Students will learn and practice applying these communication skills while in the Cosmetology program in both lab settings and on the job training. Students will have the opportunity to explore and learn used booking and salon management software used in salons and spas.

COSM 1202 - Human Relations for Cosmetology
This course will examine relations with people in the workplace and its importance to the success of the stylist and the salon. In addition, students will be introduced to the benefits of service learning.

COSM 1204 - Communications for Cosmetology
Effective communication skills and social media are powerful tools for connecting with clients and building an online presence. Students will have the opportunity to explore a variety of social media tools for marketing and include examples in their portfolio to enhance employability. The ethical, legal and professional considerations for the use of social media will also be explored, as will the use of standard industry software.

COSM 1226 - Cosmetology Sciences
This course provides a foundation of scientific concepts that are related to the cosmetology profession which is necessary for practitioners to safely provide services. Students will discuss the cell, body structures, anatomy, physiology, chemistry and electricity.

COSM 2009 - Hair Colouring/Lightening II
This course introduces students to strategies and promotes development of problem solving skills for accurate colour formulation. Emphasis will be placed on exploring colour formation strategies and de-colourizing techniques.

COSM 2016 - Chemical Texture Services II
Students will study aspects of chemically rearranging the bonds of the hair for texture as it relates to chemical hair relaxing and soft curl perming.

COSM 2030 - Principles of Design
This course challenges students to develop an artistic and pleasing image for clients using philosophy of design and harmony between hairstyles and facial structures.

COSM 2055 - Artistry of Hair Styling/Cutting II
This course provides a deeper investigation of the basic principles of cutting including the importance of consultation practices and the use of hair shaping tools, angles, and elevation of cutting techniques and the importance of timings. Students will practice techniques in finger waving, pin curls, and roller placements. A good hair cut is the basis to successful hair styling and success in the industry.

COSM 2065 - Work Experience
During this 100 hour work experience, students will have the opportunity to assist and practice their skills under the direct supervision of a Master Cosmetologist. They will gain an understanding of the comprehensive skills required to become a successful Cosmetologist in today's competitive work force. The work experience must be completed in an approved, designated salon in Nova Scotia.

COSM 2066 - Cosmetology Skills Lab II
This course allows students to further develop and practice skills related to the theory covered throughout the Cosmetology program with a goal of increasing competency and speed. Students are required to demonstrate professional conduct competencies at all times in the lab setting. Attendance at labs is required to successfully demonstrate skills and meet the hours required by the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) for program completion.

COSM 3019 - Advanced Hair Colouring
During this course, students will further develop problem-solving skills in colour formulations and corrections. Students will also explore advanced colouring techniques.

COSM 3050 - License Preparation
This course prepares students for the theory and practical components of the provincial examinations administered by the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia (CANS).

COSM 3058 - Artistry of Hair Styling/Cutting III
Artistry in hair styling gives the Cosmetologist the platform to demonstrate his/her creative side while also providing the opportunity for proficiency in hair styling. A more in depth study of cutting hair using principles of design will be included. This course will also introduce students to more in-depth techniques using razor, and texturizing tools. Students will also be introduced to wig hair enhancement services and braiding.

COSM 3065 - Cosmetology Skills Lab III
This course allows students to further develop and practice skills related to the theory covered throughout the Cosmetology program with a goal of increasing competency and speed. Students are required to demonstrate professional conduct competencies at all times in the lab setting. Attendance at labs is required to successfully demonstrate skills and meet the hours required by the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) for program completion.

COSM 3066 - Cosmetology Skills Lab IV
This course allows students to further develop and practice skills to increase speed and competency in the Cosmetology program at an industry entry level. Students are required to demonstrate professional conduct competencies at all times in the lab setting. Attendance at labs is required to successfully demonstrate skills and meet the hours required by the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) for program completion.

COSM 3068 - Advanced Artistry of Hairstyling and Cutting
Advanced artistry gives the cosmetologist the confidence to enter the workforce armed with the skills and knowledge necessary to function as a professional in analyzing all cutting and finishing techniques that are current in a modern salon. Students will explore traditional men's cutting through the Wahl Men's Method.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

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