Program Mission

The Cosmetology program's mission is to serve the community as an affordable, student-learning centered program which is committed to the development and delivery of quality education for the hair and beauty industry.

Program Description

The Cosmetology department offers two Certificates and an Associate in Applied Science degree program. There are two educational pathways in the Cosmetology program: Cosmetology and Cosmetology Instructor Training. The curriculum is designed to prepare the student for the State Board of Cosmetology Examination.

The Cosmetology program is part of an international member school system known as Pivot Point. Pivot Point developed its own training method to incorporate the use of art, science and math. This type of learning system completely revolutionized education in the hair and beauty industry The training offers students a high level of understanding in the manipulative skills and theory. The program standards meet the requirements of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Professional Vocational Licensing and the Department of Health for the licensing examination.

Other Program Information

Students who enroll in COSM alpha courses must submit one copy of their high school diploma to the records office, and another copy of their high school diploma to the cosmetology department.

A uniform is required to wear, and soft-sole, closed-toe shoes must always be worn in the department for safety and comfort (only a doctor's note will excuse someone from wearing closed toe shoes).

As stated in the Rules and Regulations of the Hawaii State Board of Cosmetology, students who resume their beauty culture courses after a lapse of three years or more shall not receive hours for previous course work.

Requirements of the Examination and License

"Effective June 17, 2003 and pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 436B-10 and federal law, it is the policy of the State of Hawaii ("State") Board of Barbering and Cosmetology ("Board") that, in addition to meeting the education, experiences, and examination requirements for licensure, an applicant for the Hawaii barber's, cosmetologist's, hairdresser's, esthetician's, nail technician's, or instructor's license is required to be either a United States citizen, a United States national, or an alien authorized to work in the United States. This means that, even if an applicant meets the education, experience, and examination requirements for licensure, that applicant shall not be issued a license if that applicant is not a U.S. citizen, a United States national, or an alien authorized to work in the U.S."

You can view the complete notice at http:/

Physical Requirements

Standing in one place for long periods of time, finger dexterity, arm-hand steadiness, visual color discrimination, manual dexterity, oral expression, auditory attention, and speech clarity.

Cosmetology Instructor Training

Instructor Training; Students who wish to take the instructor training must have served actively as a licensed cosmetologist for a minimum of one year and the license must be valid upon enrollment. This course of study specializes in the theory and principles of teaching. Students receive a minimum of 600 clock hours in lesson preparation, teaching methods, and practice teaching.

Program Prerequisites

  • High School Diploma or Equivalent; Placement in ENG 100
  • Recommended Prep: Recommended Prep: ENG 100 and MATH 100
  • Other Requirements: Standing in one place for long periods of time, finger dexterity, arm-hand steadiness, visual color discrimination, manual dexterity, oral expression, auditory attention, and speech clarity.

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 $2,600.
  • Cosmetology Instructor Training, uniform and textbooks cost approximately $700.
  • The cost may increase from semester to semester.

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

  • Conduct services in a safe environment and take measures to prevent the spread of contagious diseases.
  • Define and exhibit the basic art principles and elements related to cosmetology.
  • Describe and demonstrate the practical skills required to provide appropriate services to meet the needs for a variety of clients and/or students.
  • Explain the State of Hawaii laws and rules which govern the cosmetology industry.
  • Achieve the preliminary qualifications and requisites to apply for the licensing examination.
  • Model professional life skills and express business principles associated with a professional salon environment.

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