The 6 Best Beauty Schools in Calgary

Best Calgary Beauty School

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By Julia Leblanc

If you’re drawn towards beauty and perfection, enjoy meeting new people, and like being your own boss, then a career in cosmetology can be a great future for you.

If so, then all you need to do now is choose the best beauty school in Calgary from our list! Should you have any more questions about cosmetology as a course and career track, then you can read up on our guide and FAQs section at the end of the page.

How Much Does Education in a Beauty School Cost in Calgary

You should prepare around $15,000–$22,000 for comprehensive cosmetology programs. However, individual classes focused only on one expertise or one technique can be as affordable as $1,000.

If you need financial assistance, you can always apply for the Alberta Government’s student aid programs. Just be sure to apply for government student aid at least 60 days before classes start.

The Best Beauty Schools in Calgary

Now, let’s take a look at the best cosmetology schools in Calgary. If you want to get the feel of the schools, you can also check out their address and visit them!

1.   NIWE Academy

NIWE Academy's Homepage
PROGRAMSMassage therapy, hair styling, clinical aesthetics, esthetics, advanced nails, barbering
WEBSITEhttps://niwe.ca/
ADDRESS3817 27 St NE, Calgary, AB T1Y 7G2
CONTACT DETAILS(403) 453-8200 | [email protected]
OPERATING HOURSMonday – Thursday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

NIWE Academy believes in empowering creative Calgarians as it has numerous cosmetology programs. From beauty-centric hair styling and advanced nails to more medically-inclined esthetics and massage therapy, NIWE has it.

Since it has massage therapy, injection of botulism, and other medically-related courses, it also has doctors and other health professionals in its faculty.

What we really like about NIWE is that despite these challenging times, its education remains accessible. It makes cosmetology accessible by following a blended learning system.

With this blended system, students can access theoretical resources and demo videos online, 24/7. It also accepts international students thanks to this scheme, but will unfortunately not accept transferees.

NIWE also functions as a spa and salon to train its students in real life. But while it still has actual training sessions twice to thrice a week, NIWE may not be a good option for those who don’t want to take up online classes.

To make cosmetology even more accessible, NIWE Academy also has a comprehensive education program, where students can combine any two programs for discounted prices.

Pros

  • 24/7 availability of online course materials
  • Functions as a spa and salon
  • Discounted prices for combining 2 programs
  • Accepts international students

Cons

  • Online learning is required
  • Doesn’t accept transferees

Customer Reviews

With its quality of service, NIWE has received praise from individuals and commercial businesses alike. Here are some customer reviews to tell you just how NIWE’s graduates turn out to be after graduation:

“NIWE is a great school of Massage Therapy and Esthetics. With our experience dealing with some of their graduates and students, we have been treated with respect and professionalism. Their students are on time, well mannered and most of all skilled – qualities that are hard to come by when you are looking for people who are needed to do a job. We have been with NIWE on their charity works where they go to hospices where they do service to geriatric clients offering the healing therapy of touch as well as empathy. We have seen them work with troubled youth at the Alex here in Calgary and the feedback with regards to the service and care that their students have is heart warming. It is great to find a school that is willing to reach out to people.”—Isla Massage

The reason gọt 5 star is the management and staff were so kind and friendly to everyone. They treat you like family. It made me very comfortable and included. Only thing is that I  didn’t get as much teaching out of my teacher as I would like because all we did was reading the textbook and taught ourselves with theories. I know that time was a limiting factor but I wished that we had more in-class discussions and our teacher would have been a bit more envolved in terms of collaboration and communication ( by the way, our teacher was very knowledgeable, but she won’t share,  unless you ask questions). Anyway, I still think this is the best school with the best people who works there.”—Lisa Nguyen

2.   Ambber & Salma College of Esthetics & Spa

Ambber & Salma College of Esthetics & Spa's Homepage
PROGRAMSAdvanced nail, clinical esthetics, skin care, waxing, threading, makeup and hair updo, henna, massage and stone therapy, reflexology, body wrap
WEBSITEhttp://ambbersalmacollegeofesthetics.com/
ADDRESS 5440 4 St NW #18, Calgary, AB T2K 1A8
CONTACT DETAILS(403) 993-1918 | [email protected]
OPERATING HOURSMonday – Friday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Ambber & Salma College of Esthetics and Spa is another beauty school that also functions as a spa. Its spa uses only all-natural, organic body products, so students who want to be sustainable can benefit from this school.

One of the best courses that we learned about Ambber & Salma College is its Comprehensive Esthetics Program. For $18,000, students can learn and practice massage therapy techniques, waxing, threading, makeup, and nail services.

This program even includes a laptop along with products, kits, textbooks that’ll help students accomplish their course requirements.

However, for some, this course may feel excessive. Luckily, Ambber & Salma College still offers individual courses that are as short as 5 days and as long as 3 months.

To add to the flexibility of their programs, Ambber & Salma College also offers numerous class schedule options, namely mornings, afternoons, evenings, and even weekends. What’s more, this is the best beauty school that speaks Urdu, Gujarati and Hindi.

Unfortunately, this beauty school is also home-based and only has a small team of professionals. While this may be good for those who want undivided attention, it also means that Ambber & Salma College often accepts small groups of students at a time.

Pros

  • Option for comprehensive or individual courses
  • Comprehensive program includes all required materials
  • Flexible scheduling
  • 4 language options
  • Functions as a spa

Cons

  • Small team of instructors
  • Limited space due to its home-based nature

Customer Reviews

If you need any more details about Ambber & Salma College, then these positive yet genuine reviews can help you out:

“The nature of their training is quite comprehensive and the best part is that you can learn while doing the activities related to the knowledge. That makes you even more adept at various beauty skills.”—Karan Singh

“I am so excited to start my journey in January 2019 as a Beauty Expert. I have completed my nail technician course and Medical Esthetics Program from here. Salma is very professional and she knows well how to train. Now I am very happy to say thank you Salma.”—Madhusha Dewmimi

3.   TOC HAIR STUDIO AKADEMY

TOC HAIR STUDIO AKADEMY's Homepage
PROGRAMSHair styling, makeup
WEBSITEhttps://www.tochair.ca/
ADDRESS6008 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary, AB T2H 0K1
CONTACT DETAILS(403) 460-5919
OPERATING HOURSWednesday: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Monday – Tuesday, Thursday – Friday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

This next entry is for those who want to learn about both the traditional and latest trends in hair styling. TOC Hair Studio Akademy boasts of its 100% job placement, so its students are guaranteed a government-recognized job after graduation.

Since Canada imposes licensing standards for hairstyling, TOC Hair Studio also offers specialized courses that are designed for students who want to pass the license qualification exam.

Its most comprehensive course, the 1400 Hours Program, is recognized by Alberta Apprenticeship and Training Industry. This program involves everything, from basic practical theory and the latest hairstyling techniques to building a business and speaking for events.

Additionally, TOC Hair Studio Akademy also has a fast-track hairstyling diploma course and advanced haircutting, advanced hair colouring, updo and makeup, and refresher courses. These usually last from 2 to 10 sessions each, depending on the program.

Due to its high standards, some of TOC Hair Studio Akademy’s courses are only available for 2 registrations each year. So, if you’re convinced that this is the best beauty school in Calgary for you, then you need to enroll early on.

Pros

  • Comprehensive course for Government License Qualification for hair styling
  • 100% job placement
  • Advanced trends and techniques in hair styling
  • Fast track and refresher courses available
  • Functions as a salon

Cons

  • Some courses are limited to 2 admission cycles per year
  • Limited to hairstyling and makeup

Customer Reviews

One of the things we also deem beneficial about TOC Hair Akademy is that it offers great attention to every student. Here are some customer reviews to tell you exactly how they feel after attending this beauty school:

“Best hair school, no joke. Teacher to student ratio is unmatched anywhere else. Teachers are  actively passionate in the field as well as being instructors there. Lead Educator’s credentials and experience is incredible (you need to demand this information) and lovingly and professionally assisting students from start all the way to job placement. Family culture, absolutely strategical in helping ANYONE that has the will to succeed in the industry. I speak from experience and today i am succeeding as a hairstylist. 😀👌🏆🏅”—Kyle Truong

“I came from Saskatchewan to attend this school and couldn’t have made a better choice. They’re very modern and keep up with trends so you’re not doing only the same stuff that was taught years ago. They focus on the practical end of things as well. When you do do theory, they break it up so it’s easier to focus. All the teachers are amazing as well.

UPDATE: I moved to BC immediately after finishing my course and was told that my education must have been quite advanced because of how much I knew when I got there. I 110% would recommend this school to anyone!”—Ariel Prystupa

4.   GD College

GD College's Homepage
PROGRAMSAdvanced esthetics, makeup, lash extension certification, advanced nail
WEBSITEhttps://www.gdcollege.ca/
ADDRESS1935 27 Ave NE Suite#108, Calgary, AB T2E 7E4
CONTACT DETAILS(587) 349-1110 | [email protected]
OPERATING HOURSMonday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

For those of you who want to learn a variety of cosmetology services, GD College may be helpful. This beauty school has courses for aspiring nail technicians, hairstylists, makeup artists, lash technicians, and clinical estheticians.

GD College also has a course for advanced esthetics diploma where students can learn everything about waxing, facials, and hair and makeup.

For all of these classes, GD College guarantees to provide one-on-one training, so that its students can graduate with confidence in their quality of skills. And as an adjustment to current times, GD College has recently launched its virtual classes.

To add to this, GD College’s education seems very flexible. We say this because GD College allows its students to choose to have classes either in the mornings, afternoons, late nights, or weekends.

On top of all these services, GD College also helps its students with resume writing and interview preparation. This beauty school also uses beauty products from its partner brands so that its graduated students know how to work only with the best products.

Pros

  • One-on-one training
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Job and career hunting support
  • Option for virtual classes
  • Functions as a spa

Cons

  • Restricted to the use of select products
  • No hairstyling programs

Customer Reviews

Credibility is also one of the things previous GD College students like about the beauty school. Here are reviews that share the same thoughts:

“Professional, Perfectionist,Kind,Generous,has expertise in the field of cosmetology……………..and the list can go on. You will find everything what you are looking for in a professional course.A complete package. Highly recommended 😊”—Rash Kaur

“The esthetics diploma is taught by experts in the beauty industry which made me feel confident in pursuing a career right after I graduated. The lash technician diploma is exceptional, and the medical esthetician diploma comes with a kit – which not many schools provide. Overall, a positive, and diverse educational experience.”—Harman K

5.   The Esthetic Institute Training Center

The Esthetic Institute Training Center's Homepage
PROGRAMSLash extension, waxing, threading, facials, threading, makeup, hair styling, nails, microdermabrasion
WEBSITEhttp://www.estheticinstitute.ca/
ADDRESS4110-7005 Fairmount Dr SE, Calgary, AB T2H 0J1
CONTACT DETAILS(403) 263-2204
OPERATING HOURSMonday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Established in 2009, The Esthetic Institute (TEI) Training Center is bent on becoming the leading beauty and esthetics school not only in Calgary but in the entire country. It moves toward this goal in three ways.

First, it has two convenient locations in Calgary, one in the South and one in the North. We think that this, along with its virtual tours, adds to TEI’s accessibility and welcoming nature to train more aspiring estheticians.

Next, TEI caters to more people by providing options for on-site training as well as virtual classes on theoretical lessons. These classes even come in either groups or individual courses.

Third of all, TEI offers the CIDESCO diploma program, a beauty training program that’s comprehensive enough to tackle almost all esthetic services. Since this is globally recognized, TEI’s students can even move internationally and still continue to practice cosmetology.

With all of these qualities, TEI continues to receive requests from local spas and salons for any graduate students. That said, it relies on partners for training with actual customers.

But what we really appreciate about TEI is that it reaches out to those who seem to be unhappy with their education or service. That said, we have heard about some complaints about some courses, like microblading.

Pros

  • International accreditation and certifications
  • 2 locations in Calgary
  • Option for virtual classes and virtual tours
  • Comprehensive and individual classes offered

Cons

  • No massage and hairstyling
  • Some complaints about microblading course
  • No spa and salon on-site

Customer Reviews

Here are some customer reviews to tell you more about what you should expect from TEI if ever you choose them as the best beauty school in Calgary:

“My experience with The Esthetic Institute has been nothing but AMAZING! I have been able to do schooling during the Pandemic to broaden my esthetic services while still being able to be at home with my young children. Not being a resident of Calgary,  their online program made it possible for me to do my schooling. I wouldn’t have been able to make it work any other way. I have been able to take 6 different programs and 2 seminars and feel very satisfied in how all the material and demos were delivered. I can’t say enough GOOD things about Vanessa, all the instructors, the beauty depot staff and everyone else who has made my experience so great!! They have all been so helpful and so accomadating.   If you’re looking into joining any of their programs you won’t regret your decision. I give them a 10/10”—Madison N

“The Esthetic Institute is a great school for all things beauty. The teachers are wonderful and the new school is awesome. I really enjoyed my courses. Andreea in Admin has gone above and beyond to help me with anything I need. I can’t wait to take more courses in the future!”—Ashley Hung

6.   Fixe Beauty

PROGRAMShttps://fixebeauty.com/education/
WEBSITEhttps://fixebeauty.com/
ADDRESSCalgary, AB T3H 3C8
CONTACT DETAILS(833) 527-4992 | [email protected]
OPERATING HOURSContact for more information

Fixe Beauty is an online beauty academy and is one of the leading academies in North America.

They aim to help their graduates start their own careers and earn at a competitive rate.

We recommend this academy to individuals who are looking to start a career in lash services. The company provides comprehensive training courses in which reviews find to be easy to follow and pick-up as well.

Their curriculum is also highly praised to be convenient and comprehensive in which enrollees are able to revisit previous sessions and practice at their own pace and time.

Pros

  • Comprehensive lessons
  • Able to revisit previous sessions
  • Can practice at your own time and pace

Cons

  • All classes are done online

Customer Reviews

Here are some reviews from their clients:

“I enjoyed Fixe Beauty School. I was little hesitant to start an online course, but it was simple to follow. I didn’t have website issues at all, I could just pick up where I left off at. Jess is an incredible teacher and she made it super fun and interesting. I’d recommend to anyone serious about lashes to take this course.” – Sonya Soto

“I have taken a few lash courses and this one was the easiest to pass by far. I wish the class was a little bit more informative and strict with grading. I also believe models should be done on a live person and not a mannequin head. Seems like they just want to have as many people sign up and pay for the course and pass anyone who submits photos. Doesn’t seem like they care much for the quality of the education they are giving. A great alternative is the Paris Lash Academy online Classic + Volume course that’s only $99 for both classes and is worlds more informative.” – Lela Marie

Career Tracks after Beauty School Education

Still not sure about what type of beauty expert you’ll be? If so, then here’s a list of the potential career tracks you can take on after graduating from beauty school:

  • Aesthetician
  • Barber
  • Beautician
  • Beauty writer, editor, or consultant
  • Cosmetic market specialist
  • Fashion show stylist
  • Hairstylist
  • Esthetician
  • Makeup artist
  • Massage therapist
  • Nail technician
  • Salon or spa manager

How to Choose a Beauty School

Now, once you decide on what type of cosmetologist you want to be, then you can make a better decision of which school you should go to. Here’s what you should consider before landing a school.

1. Programs

First of all, you should choose a beauty school that offers your desired career track program. But having a curriculum in your desired cosmetology career track isn’t enough for a beauty school to be the best.

Their curriculum shouldn’t be composed only of lectures and exams. Discussions and actual training sessions are also important as these activities let you call the shots and actually apply your learnings.

It would also help if the beauty school works as a beauty salon itself or at least has partner spas and salons you can practice in. After all, beauty is all about the application of products and treatments, not just theories.

2. Instructors

You also have to consider whether or not they have instructors who are both experienced in the field and passionate about their work. Learning from skilled and passionate experts can boost your morale and will to learn.

Additionally, you should ask about the teacher-to-student ratio of the school. The smaller the ratio is, the more focused your beauty education can be.

3. Schedule

When you should enroll isn’t generally an issue because beauty schools usually accept students year-round. However, some have strict registrations, so best pay attention to the school’s enrollment process and schedule.

And if you’re enrolling as a part-time student, then you should check out the available schedules of classes for your desired program. Some schools luckily allow flexible scheduling.

4. Reputation

Reputation is also a huge deal breaker for choosing schools. You can learn greatly about a school’s reputation from the beauty experts it’s produced and of course, from student and client reviews.

If you enjoy working under pressure, you may consider schools with strict and tough-loving instructors. However, if you work better with gentle guidance, then you should enroll in a school known for its considerate instructors and curriculum.

5. Cost

Lastly, consider the costs of the beauty school. Both the Albertan and Canadian government schools offer financial assistance and scholarships, so be sure to ask around about those.

You can check out our cost guide at the start of the article to know what fees are reasonable.

FAQs about Beauty Schools


We hope that our simple guide can help bring you a step closer to your desired career path. Since most of our listed beauty schools also function as a spa or salon, you can also make sure that you’ll get adequate training before facing the real world.

If you know of any other beauty schools in Calgary, please message us so we can evaluate them, too!

After your education, your next step to becoming a successful beautician will be to get to work. Check out the best day spas in Calgary that may just help you put your new skills to good use!

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