Cosmetology student in class
Cosmetology student cutting hair
Cosmetology student combing hair
Cosmetology students styling hair

Program Mission

The Cosmetology program's mission is to serve the community as an affordable, learning-centered program which is committed to the development and delivery of innovative, high-quality education for the hair and beauty industry; and, empower individuals to maximize their potential and elevate the professionalism of the industry.

Program Description

The Cosmetology department offers three Certificates and an Associate in Applied Science degree program. The curriculum is designed to prepare the student for the State Board of Cosmetology Examination. Upon passing the examination the individual becomes a licensed cosmetologist.

The Cosmetology program is part of an international member school system that teaches the technique known as Pivot Point. Pivot Point developed its own training method, and system of learning that completely revolutionized hair and beauty education. This off ers students the highest degree of manipulative skills and theory that meet the standards and requirements of the State Board of Cosmetology and of other careers in the world of hair and beauty. This knowledge and ability are achieved first through lecture and demonstration followed by actual work in a salon atmosphere. Students receive a minimum of 1800 clock hours of lecture and clinical experience.


A Certification of Competence is also available in Esthetician Training. This course of study specializes in the care and health of skin through prevention and management. Knowledge and ability is achieved first through lecture and demonstration followed by practice on clients in a salon atmosphere. Procedures are those used in spas and skin care salons. These courses prepare the student for the State Board of Cosmetology Licensing Examination in Esthetics. Upon passing the State Board examination, the individual becomes a licensed esthetician.

Program Prerequisites

  • High school diploma or equivalent

Degrees That Can Be Earned

  • Associate in Applied Science (AAS)
  • Certificate of Achievement (CA)

Cost of Textbooks/Supplies

  • Tuition based on total number of credits taken.
  • A basic Cosmetology kit, uniform, and textbooks cost approximately $2,500.
  • The cost may increase from semester to semester.

Gainful Employment Information

View additional information related to cost, financing, and gainful employment.

Job placement rate is based on AY15 Certficate of Achievement program completers who were employed within the ensuing 2 UI quarters of graduation.

Rate excludes completers continuing in an Associate's Degree program in the same major.

Rate excludes self-employed individuals or those working outside the state of Hawaii.

Employment information is limited to field of employer, not actual job performed.

Upon successful completion of the COSM program, students will be able to:

  • Model professional life skills to include qualities of character, personality, verbal and non-verbal communication and planning./li>
  • Follow personal and public health and safety routines at work.
  • Express the business principles to include client market, building a clientele, customer service, SMART goals, and the 80/20 rule and S.W.O.T. analysis required within a professional environment.
  • Demonstrate the theoretical and practical skills required to apply the core sciences of microbiology, anatomy and physiology, principles of electricity and chemistry related to working in the cosmetology field.
  • Demonstrate the theoretical and practical skills required to provide appropriate services to meet the needs for a variety of clients.
  • Demonstrate and interpret the elements of form, texture and color with the principles of repetition, alternation, progression and contrast in design
  • Demonstrate the theoretical knowledge and practice of the Hawaiʻi Revised Statues 438 and 439, Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules; Title 16; Chapter 78, Title 11; Board of Health Chapter 11 as it relates to the cosmetology industry.
  • To achieve the preliminary qualifications or requisites for admission to the licensure examination.

Upon successful completion of the Esthetician program, students will be able to:

  • Project a positive attitude and a sense of personal integrity and self-confidence.
  • Practice effective communication skills, visual poise, and proper grooming.
  • Respect the need to deliver worthy service for value received in an employer-employee relationship.
  • State the benefits of prioritizing time efficiently.
  • Use proven strategies to build a clientele.
  • List safety and sanitation procedures for use of equipment, implements, and treatments.
  • Perform basic manipulative skills in the areas of skin care, hair removal, makeup and body treatments.
  • Perform the basic analytical skills to determine proper skin care, hair removal, makeup and body treatments for the client's overall image.
  • Apply learned theory, technical information and related matter to assure sound judgments, decisions, and procedures.
  • Apply learned theory, manipulative skills and analytical skills to obtain licensure and competency in entry-level positions in cosmetology or a related career field.

Our program technical standards have been developed to help students understand the minimum essential mental, physical, and behavioral skills necessary for participation in and completion of all core aspects of our curriculum.

Thinking Skills


Use scientific and cosmetic concepts and theories to perform salon work safely and appropriately.


  • Read and apply information from lectures, textbooks, and handouts.
  • Follow Hawaiʻi State Cosmetology Board Rules and Regulations.
  • Apply basics of hygiene, sanitation and safety in personal practices.
  • Apply basics of bacteriology, sterilization, and disinfection in salon practices.
  • Apply fundamentals of hair, skin and nail structure, and chemistry.
  • Detect and handle skin disorders safely and correctly.
  • Analyze product ingredients for proper uses.
  • Measure and calculate correct amounts of products.
  • Analyze hair and skin and prescribe appropriate services and products.
  • Apply color theory to achieve desired effect.

Sensory/Observation Skills


Use sensory cues to assess clients’ needs, treatments, and services.


  • Examine hair and skin prior to contact for evidence of disorders.
  • Detect slight differences in color or form.
  • Apply make-up, treatments, or hair removal techniques to clients’ faces.
  • Observe and replicate teacher-demonstrated procedures and techniques.

Motor Skills


Possess sufficient mobility and dexterity to do precise and aesthetically pleasing work.


  • Operate salon tools, equipment, and materials safely.
  • Use proper salon techniques.
  • Position and maneuver while servicing salon clients.
  • Work at varying levels.
  • Perform chemical treatments from start to finish within prescribed time constraints for safety purposes.
  • Lift and transport materials and equipment as necessary.

Communication Skills


Communicate effectively with clients and co-workers to gather and convey information.


  • Obtain necessary information from oral and written sources.
  • Express information coherently.
  • Document work accurately.

Behavioral Skills


Behave appropriately in both self-directed and shared learning environments.


  • Work independently with minimal supervision.
  • Work cooperatively with partners and groups.
  • Follow through with responsibilities.
  • Work diligently and put in necessary time to complete tasks.
  • Persist on difficult tasks.
  • Exercise good judgement.

Environmental Tolerance


Function safely in a salon environment.


  • Work for prolonged periods amidst: Sharp tools, Electrical equipment, Chemicals and toxins, Dust, heat, fumes, and odors

1. What is an Esthetician?

An Esthetician is a person who is trained, licensed, and devoted to providing professional preventative care for the health and beauty of the skin.

2. When are the classes held?

Beginning classes - Start only in the Fall semester (August - December):

  • COSM 60 - 5 Credits : Basic Esthetician Theory
  • COSM 61L - 5 credits : Basic Esthetician Laboratory

Advanced Classes - Spring semester (January - May):

  • COSM 70 - 5 Credits : Advanced Esthetician Theory
  • COSM 71L - 5 Credits : Advanced Esthetician Laboratory

3. Where are the Classes held?

At the Honolulu Community College Cosmetology Department, Building 27
874 Dillingham Blvd. Honolulu, Hawaiʻi 96817 - Phone Number: (808) 845- 9132

4. How do I get into the program?

Submit a UH System Application to the Admissions Office: Continuing Students whose "Home Campus" is Honolulu CC , make sure your major is indicated as COSM - Esthetician. If you are a continuing student from another UH system campus, you will need to submit a Change of Home Institution [PDF] form. You need to indicate that you are interested in a Certificate of Completion for Cosmetology - Esthetician.

Provide two copies of your High School diploma and/or equivalent. One copy will stay with Admissions and the second copy goes to the Cosmetology Department to file with the State Board of Cosmetology.

In order to register for any COSM courses, you need to submit the following:

  1. a copy of your TB (Tuberculosis) test, current within the past year and
  2. a copy of your MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) shot record.

For more information, please contact the admissions office at (808) 845-9129.

Placement Test Score - To begin in the Esthetician Program, you need to place in English 22/60 or ESL: 23 or have completed ENG 8,18, 9,19 and or 21. Placement test scores are valid up to 2 years from test date. If it has been longer, you will need to re-take the placement test again. If you are not satisfied with your score, you will need to wait 4 months to re-take the test.

UH Username - Make sure you set up your UH Username. You will need this to register for the Esthetician Courses.

If you have met the English Placement level and completed steps 1-3, you are eligible to register for your COSM courses through STAR. To access the "Course Reference Number" (CRN) please refer to the Class Availability page on the Honolulu CC homepage. Write down the CRN number (Blue 5 digit number) for the COSM 60 and COSM 61L class. You will need these numbers in order to register through STAR. If you have any questions and or problems, please call the Admissions office.

5. How much do the courses cost?

  • Fall 2011 - Spring 2012 Resident Tuition Fee: $ 985.00 for 10 Credits (includes student fees)
  • Fall 2011 - Spring 2012 NON Resident Tuition Fee: $2915.00 for 10 Credits (this include student fees)

A student working kit (required to pass the course) costs approximately $350.00 - 650.00

A white lab coat, black slacks and black soft-soled covered shoes are required upon enrollment.

Textbooks purchased for the first day of class will be used throughout the entire program. The price of textbooks can be found at the bookstore: (808) 845-9105. Handouts and supplementary course materials may be provided during the course.

Students in the COSM Esthetician Certificate of Completion course DO NOT qualify for Federal Financial Aid.

6. Other General Information

A student will not be given permission to start after the second day of classes.

You must attend and successfully pass COSM 60 and 61L with a grade of "C" or higher before enrolling in COSM 70 and 71L.

Upon completing the 20 credits and earning a grade of "C" or higher, you can apply for a Certificate of Completion (CC) degree - see records office

In order to qualify for the State of Hawaiʻi licensing exam, a minimum of 600 hours in Esthetics training and high school diploma and or its equivalent are required.

Honolulu Community College observes all State holidays.

For further information regarding the Esthetics curriculum please contact the Cosmetology Department at (808) 845-9132.

For questions about the admissions process, please contact the Admission Office at (808) 845-9129 or email