Is beauty really only skin deep? Not when it’s an expression of an individual’s personality and style. In the cosmetology industry, professionals help each guest find his or her personal way of doing just that.

The cosmetology industry has experienced incredible expansion over the past several decades. Gone are the days of solely standing behind a chair and cutting someone’s hair. There are countless hair, skin and nail needs that a professional can provide in creative and evolving ways.

There is, however, one thing that has not changed: The relationship a cosmetologist builds with his or her guest will never go out of style. Both seasoned stylists and novices agree this is the most rewarding aspect of the industry. Just imagine the job satisfaction from doing what you love every day, along with helping people look and feel their best. A career in cosmetology offers the chance for creative hands-on work, as well as financial opportunity, stability and flexibility in a profession that will always be in high demand. Opportunities abound for those with a desire for entrepreneurship. Nail salons, day spas, lash salons or even traveling salons are popular all over Minnesota, and communities welcome their unique services.

Minnesota West offers the cosmetology program on two campuses: Jackson and Pipestone. The program encompasses hair, nail and skin care services in a spa or salon. This is regulated by a state board that certifies students who complete a number of hours in the classroom and in practical application, along with testing.

Once a stylist is licensed, ongoing education is required to stay current in the industry. We offer a variety of cosmetology degrees at Minnesota West. It only takes one semester to complete a lash degree or a nail technician degree. An esthetician (skin care) degree is acquired in two semesters, and a full cosmetology degree can be completed in three semesters. We also offer degrees that require additional hours for other states.

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Minnesota West Cosmetology offers students opportunities to earn a degree in a flexible setting. We are able to accommodate a variety of learning styles and all personality types have proven to be successful in our program. Whether a student has no experience in the industry or years of it, they will expand their knowledge and skills. Additionally, our students are encouraged to interact with other future professionals on campus, which not only develops interpersonal skills, but grows their client base as well.

Our faculty comes alongside students to help them highlight their work and abilities through social media. This past year, students had the opportunity to participate in an intense marketing class with top industry professionals from throughout the United States.

It has been amazing to watch the industry change over the past 28 years. At Minnesota West’s cosmetology program, we are using some of the most up-to-date methods right here in southern Minnesota. Our students are intelligent, creative and able to refine their skills to help each guest be the best expression he or she can be.

In the words of Vidal Sassoon, “Hairdressers are a wonderful breed. You work one on one with another human being, and the object is to make them feel so much better, and to look at themselves with a twinkle in their eye.”

At the Minnesota West Cosmetology program, we couldn’t agree more.