“I recently attended the Cosmetology school at Pivot Point Academy to tighten up my skills. Great instructors that facilitate a collaborative learning experience that is not only based on concepts – but also hands-on practice to help enhance your skills.” -Sophia Brown

At Pivot Point Academy, our 1500-hour cosmetology program goes far beyond the basics. As a student, you can learn “the why” behind “the how,” and master technical skills building from simple to complex. We teach you to see, think, create, and adapt to any client or situation.

Become an Artists

Use your creativity every day as a cosmetologist! Our 1500-hour cosmetology program can be completed in as little as 12 months. At Pivot Point Academy, you won’t just learn how to do hair, you’ll also learn skills to build a sustainable career. Learn about:

  • Coloring
  • Texture services
  • Business management and social media setup
  • Client communication
  • And more!

We want all our students to feel salon ready-after they graduate. You can have hands-on experience in our student salon*. Not only can you practice your skills, but you can also learn how a salon operates and how to build a connection with clients.

Become an Artist

Take your first step into a creative career today. Reach out to us today to learn more!

Cosmetology in 4 Phases

You can prepare for success in the salon and become the artist you are meant to be with our four-phase program.

  • Phase 1: Master the Foundation of Cosmetology
    Apply the four cornerstones of hair design in our hair program: see, think, create, and adapt! Explore the fundamentals of sculpture (men’s and women’s), hair design, and long hair design on multiple hair textures.
  • Phase 2: Take a Hands-on Approach
    Prepare for salon life by practicing your skills hands-on in our student salon and spa. Solidify your foundational skills in advanced workshops, and gain additional skills in coloring, texture services, and client communication.
  • Phase 3: Advance Your Skills in Cosmetology
    Build on previous skills as you advance your knowledge in nail care, skincare, makeup, and salon business. This phase will also strengthen your skills in guest relations and efficiency.
  • Phase 4: Work and Prepare
    Prepare for final testing and sit for the Illinois state licensure exam as you continue perfecting your skills in our student salon.

Pivot Point Academy students posing for a photo

The Pivot Point Academy Difference

At Pivot Point Academy, we are bringing learning into the future. Our digital online classroom, Learn About Beauty (LAB) is a fun and interactive way to make learning stick. Here are just a few ways LAB and other resources help our beauty school create confident, competitive graduates.


Gone are the days of lengthy textbook chapters that are difficult to read! LAB is learner-centered and makes it easier for you to study and remember skills.

  • Streamlined text eases the learner’s reading burden.
  • Large visuals help students remember key concepts.
  • Additional resources are easily accessible.
  • Online learning makes classes available anytime, anywhere.
  • Social collaboration exercises create community, and make sharing information easy.
  • Earn points for completed modules to make learning fun.

We aren’t just making graduates, we are making salon professionals.

That’s why LAB has several features to help students build resilience, self-esteem, and salon-savvy:

  • Salon Connection Sidebars: Helps keep the future in mind and prepares learners for the “real world.”
  • Expanded Care and Safety Section: Builds awareness of client relations and refines workplace skills.
  • Life Skills Feature: Teaches resilience, commitment, and persistance to help you bounce back after setbacks.
Build a Sustainable Career

We want our students to succeed in the industry long-term, not just out of school. At Pivot Point Academy, we provide students with relevant information, guidance, and support to help them stay in the industry longer.

  • Prosper U: Learn how to make connections with your guest, maximize ticket price, increase your sales, and market yourself with our business training class, Prosper U.
  • Beauty As A Business: Understand how to brand yourself and stand out from the competition with our social media and marketing course, Beauty As A Business (BAAB).
  • Resume and Career Building: Take your skills to the bank by gaining resume and career building skills to help you land your dream job.
  • Internships: Our school highly encourages participation in internships to help students understand salon expectations and make salon connections to build their careers.
Opportunities for Growth

Grow your skills with these events and opportunities available to Pivot Point Academy students!

Cosmetology Student Kit

Welcome to the beginning of your career in Beauty. Design your Life. Hair design relies on the artist’s vision, techniques, and the tools needed to carry out that vision. At the start of each cosmetology program, you will get:

  • Education that goes beyond that basics and prepares you for a successful career.
  • Access to LAB, an online learning environment that keeps you connected both in and out of the classroom.
  • Quality hair from Pivot Point International for the most realistic hair design experience.
  • Snap Cap, a sustainable alternative to mannequins that reduces landfill waste.
  • High-quality tools created by designers,  for designers.
  • Your cosmetology student kit includes 400+ pieces of tools you’ll need to begin your cosmetology career, like Mannequins (Chloe, Charlene, & Samuel with a beard), Shark Fin shears and texturizing shears, Matsuzaki 1-star cutting shears, shear pouch, MUD makeup kit, 70 piece hair swatches, metal adjustable mannequin holder, Taper graphite comb, master sketcher comb, Bohn combs, Wahl clippers & trimmer, and more.

View your Cosmetology Student Kit

You’ll also receive an iPad via you’ll access our digital learning platform LAB (Learn about Beauty). Students will also get Pivot Point Academy’s Fundamentals: printed study guide, downloadable eBooks, integrated lesson webbooks, learning connections, interactive video lectures, design decision charts, exam ace, and more.

Student doing Makeup in our makeup classroom

Unit 1: Shop Management, Sanitation, And Interpersonal Relations

Learn the basics behind having a successful career in cosmetology, such as:

  • Career opportunities
  • State licensing requirements and regulations
  • Professional development
  • Personal grooming and hygiene
  • Client relations
  • Business ethics
  • Infection control and service essentials
  • Microbiology (bacteriology)
  • Basic bookkeeping
  • Basic marketing and merchandising
  • Retailing
  • Salon operations
  • And more!
Unit 2: Basic Training

Gain foundational knowledge in basic cosmetology that you will build upon in later units:

  • Orientation
  • Professional ethics
  • Hygiene and sanitation
  • Understanding chemicals and their uses
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Skin diseases and disorders (common scalp conditions)
  • Trichology (evaluation of hair types)
  • Chemistry of cosmetics (shampoo, rinses and conditioners)
  • Esthetics
  • Nail technology
  • Infection control
  • Tools uses and safety
  • And more!
Unit 3: Hair Styling/Hair Dressing

Get started as a beginner hair stylist with these foundational skills:

  • Principles and techniques of sculpting (cutting, thinning, shaping, trimming)
  • Wet design
  • Techniques (shaping and curling)
  • Hair design
  • Thermal design techniques (curling and Marcelling)
  • Long hair design and techniques
  • Hair treatments
  • Wigs and hair additions
  • And more!
Unit 4: Practical Chemical Application/Hair Treatment

Advance your skills by learning how to chemically manipulate hair. You will learn:

  • Chemistry and chemical safety
  • Principles and techniques of hair perming and relaxing
  • Principles and techniques of hair tinting
  • Bleaching and coloring (temporary, semi-permanent, permanent)
  • Techniques in shampooing
  • Toning and rinsing
  • Techniques in hair and scalp conditioning
  • Scalp massage essentials
  • Product knowledge uses and safety
Unit 5: Nail Technology

Become a well-rounded cosmetology student by gaining skills in nail technology:

  • Nail structure and growth
  • Nail diseases
  • Disorders and conditions
  • Nail shapes
  • Nail care
  • Basic manicure and pedicure
  • Artificial nail care
Unit 6: Esthetics

Understand the science of healthy skin and skincare basics. You will learn:

  • Principles and techniques of skin care treatment
  • Theory of massage
  • Principles of hair removal and techniques
  • Makeup application
  • Infection control
  • Product knowledge uses and safety

To be applied by the instructor to strengthen student performance; supervised field trips; or other related training.

Recommended Blogs

As an additional resource for your research and orientation, the following blogs are available to you to broaden your knowledge base and continue your understanding of the Beauty industry:

Business Training – Increasing the Salon Readiness of our Students.
Hair Texturizing Techniques – Taught in Cosmetology Classes.
Exciting Facts – Cosmetology a Career Full of Creativity and Art.


  • I was recently at your Bloomingdale location this past Saturday.  Christopher cut my hair as well as did a color correction w/high lights.  Even though I was there for 5 hours he took his time to make sure that the job was being done right and asked instructors for feedback etc when needed.

    Well, the outcome came out FANTASTIC. I posted my picture on my Facebook as well as my personal weight watchers profile and I was bombarded with so many likes saying how cute the color/cut came out and how it complements my newly thinned out features.   I went drastic with a modified pixie cut and I went for it 🤣!!

    I’m hoping that Christopher is available the next time I go for a trim and touch up 😊😊

    Linda B.

    I chose pivot point intentionally because I’ve always loved makeup. Going through all the phases and learning all the curriculum I’ve never been so happy to become a well-rounded hairstylist knowing all techniques and learning all different hair types. I’ve never been so blessed to be working at Sharon Daniel Salon to further my career and make everyone feel beautiful!

    Alissa M.
  • I chose Pivot Point because of its professional but fun atmosphere. I feel that they took cosmetology as seriously as I did but everyone was still warm and welcoming! I am now working at a Redken elite salon in Chicago and I feel like I’ve found a home in my rising salon!

    Mikey D.

    Pivot Point Academy is not only a school, it is a home. This place helped me branch out into a whole different person. I tried things I never knew I would try and accomplished so much more than I would’ve ever thought. Pivot Point allowed me to find another home at Sorelle Salon in Bartlett. I am a full-time stylist now doing hair, makeup, spray tans, lash extensions, lash lifts, and nails! This industry offers so much and Pivot Point helped me realize beauty is unstoppable!

    Gabby B.
  • I chose Pivot Point Academy because I wanted a supportive, family-like school. I knew from the minute I toured the academy; I was home. The educators were amazing, my classmates were always cheering me on and the rest of the team always had my back. I knew going to Pivot Point I would have the best cosmetology education and opportunities following graduation. I was given all of that, plus so much more.

    Savannah F.

    I chose Pivot Point because it had always been highly recommended to me and frankly; no other school compared. I felt welcomed and at home right away, so I knew it was the right choice. After graduating from Pivot Point, I was able to come across an amazing job opportunity at The Mixx Hair Salon where I am now a full-time hairstylist and lead makeup artist.

    Nathaly L.