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The Premier Nashville cosmetology school

Interested in starting a career in cosmetology but don’t know where to begin? Start your journey with The Salon Professional Academy Nashville. We’re a Nashville cosmetology school that brings you the perfect mix of salon life and skill set training education in cosmetology, aesthetics, hair, and nails. The primary mission of our program is to set each of our students up for a flourishing career in the beauty industry. We offer students the chance to train in a lively atmosphere that offers all the exciting and sometimes challenging scenarios that occur at large, high-end salons. In addition, our Nashville beauty school is designed to advance your business, service, and technical skills, so that you’re fully prepared for long-term success after graduating our cosmetology program. Learn from the very best at The Salon Professional Academy in Nashville. Our staff of board-licensed cosmetology instructors has over 100 years of combined experience to ensure you have the expertise you need to succeed.

what makes us different

With a combined 100+ years in the beauty industry, the owners of The Salon Professional Academy Nashville feel they do things a little different than most. Training at the academy starts with industry specific business on the first day and ends with business training on the last day. Students have an opportunity to practice their skills on guests four days a week, while working on up to 240 guests in total, all while perfecting their hard and soft skills. Students leave the academy prepared for a career, not just licensure.


I always knew that I wanted a career in hair and make-up. A few months after graduating high school I started in the first class at TSPA. I started school with two of my close friends, which calmed my nerves, but after a week of being there, I had already gained several new friends. TSPA made me feel comfortable and Wanda and Chip were all about us getting the most out of our education during our time here. Class time was great, but getting out on the floor and getting to put that knowledge to use was the best. I loved learning new things with each color, cut, and style that I did. I only wish that I would have stepped more outside my comfort zone in school because this is where you can make mistakes and really learn from them through the help of your instructors and your classmates. Although I did not use my Jump Journal as much as I should have in school, it has become such a huge part of my life now. I have consistently been building my clientele and my Jump Journal helps me stay on track, plan ahead, and work on the areas I may be struggling with. Now that I have to pay for my own classes I have a true appreciation for TSPA having brought so many Redken artists into school. I still reference back to a lot of my notes that were taken during some of those classes. That being said, the education is unbeatable and I can’t thank Wanda, Chip, Lessie, and the Instructors enough for making my experience so memorable. Thanks to TSPA I am working at a salon now and still continuing my education. yay! ;D

Lauren Powers

I was referred to the school by the salon owner Marilyn of Salon Yaya. So I took a tour and couldn’t say no. The school looked amazing inside and of course, because TSPA uses Redken you can't go wrong with that.

I enjoyed the learning experiences I had with each and every client. Cutting hair, coloring hair, styling hair it was all so exciting that I was behind the chair transforming the client's hair into what we both had a vision for and seeing them leave with a smile on their face. There are no words to explain the feeling you get when it happens.

At TSPA not only do they teach you hair but they also teach you the business aspect as well with the KRS system which helps you grow your business and clientele. Not to mention we had Redken artists come to our school from everywhere around the U.S. to come and speak to us which was so amazing because the same artists at a class charge a ticket price to speak and at TSPA you get it for free and no other school has that to offer. You will leave this school knowing so much, especially about business and that's something that even salons out there today have no idea about.

The Salon Professional Academy uses Redken product which was voted the number one hair color in the country. You get the business aspect and the teachers are amazing and will work with you and you leave with an amazing education that no other school could even compare to. Not to mention that Ms.Lessie and the owners Chip and Wanda are absolutely amazing and they will help you with job placement and anything else that may come along that you need help with and they are so dedicated to the school and students and you don’t see that at every school.

Jamie Martin

“The Salon Professional Academy!” I knew it was calling my name as soon as I walked in those doors. I had visited other schools before but none of them had that, “WOW” factor until I went there. when I was at TSPA, I loved the one-on-one attention I got from all the educators, sure the students outnumbered the educators but, no matter what if I needed help, someone was always there for me. I was never left without an answer.

There was never ever a dull moment at the school, sure the classes were small, and the educators were tough, but I loved the fact that we the students were able to have fun, laugh, and dance like no one's business! We were allowed to have fun at school, CRAZY! Don’t get me wrong the discipline will crack your butt into shape really fast, but still be able to have a good time in the process.

I truly believe by attending TSPA I can blow a 15 year “old school stylist” out of the water with all the education I got. We always had tons of Redken artists come in and do classes with us, and show us new fun ways of cutting, or foiling, or even a simple blow dry! TSPA teaches not only hair, but the business side a lot of stylists these days have no clue about. If it wasn’t for the KRS system and the jump journal I honestly would be broke and I wouldn’t be able to build as fast as I already have. They kick our butts and prepare us to take on any situation thrown at us, I honestly left TSPA feeling like a Redken Artist!

I have already sent 4 people to TSPA, I think anyone whose anybody and wants to reach sky-high in their career should go to TSPA. The school uses the #1 voted best hair color in the country, Redken. So that right there tells you you're going to be 10 steps ahead of reaching your goal to be a great stylist!

Celia Luna

I began class at The Salon Professional Academy on January 13, 2009. This particular Tuesday was also the beginning of my senior year of college. For me, cosmetology school was going to be all fun, and I was so excited. Although I kept busy running back and forth between schools, I was always welcome back at TSPA and was so grateful that I was given the chance to do both. The salon became my escape from papers and deadlines, a chance to make other people feel good, and I loved it.

I was in a small class, 6 of us to start, and 4 in the end. Although we came from different backgrounds, we became great friends, especially after those first two months in the classroom. Even after we entered the floor, we were never taught to compete against each other, but only to build one another up to make everyone better. We all grew.

I also owe a large portion of my experience to the excellent directors and staff of TSPA Nashville. Chip and Wanda Woods, Lessie Pruitt, Mrs. Ross, and Mrs. Hoolihan will always be probably some of the most influential and memorable people in my life. I had lots of teachers before, and many whom I respect, but it was the TSPA staff that helped me transition between student and adult. They let me laugh when I needed to, especially often at myself, cry if I needed to, and always helped me become better.

For anyone wanting to be a hair stylist, know that TSPA will change you, and for the better. If you put in all your effort, you will leave with great skills, and a great attitude to start your career. You must make your success, but TSPA gives you the tools and the understanding to do so. I am also continuing to pursue my other passion, music, by writing, singing, and teaching as much as I can. I am very thankful for all my opportunities thus far, especially for those given to me at The Salon Professional Academy.

Lauren Henry

I started The Salon Professional Academy in November 2007, the second class to ever enter Nashville’s TSPA. I have always known that I wanted to do hair since I was little, so I was super excited my first day! The salon floor is huge and portrays a “high-end” salon, which makes it fun. My class only had five of us, for a more intimate learning experience, and everyone gets close really fast. I really liked that aspect of the school. Soon after the excitement leaves though, school is school. Being a person that was never a fan of school, and definitely not a morning person.. it did get hard to make myself go after a while.

The best testimony, and advice I can give to all future TSPA students, is that it is definitely worth it in the end. GIVE 100%, BE ON TIME, LOOK YOUR BEST EVERY DAY (AND BE ON TIME!!!!). If I could go back I would take full advantage of every penny I spent to attend this school, and not let any knowledge slip away that I may have missed. TSPA offers great opportunities of listening to amazing Redken artists/business professionals, and Mr. Chip and Mrs. Wanda are two amazing people who always push you to excel, and they root for you until you reach the top. It took me about a year after I graduated to get licensed and in a salon, but I am now working at Tangles in Mt. Juliet.

My first WEEK on the floor, I made a little over 300$, and that’s nothing compared to the vets here. It is such a great, and fun career, it's so easy for me to come to work every day because I’m doing something that I love to do. And just to let you in on a little secret, TSPA students come out FEARLESS and one step ahead of a person who came out of any other school. I would definitely recommend this school to any aspiring hairstylist.

Dre Haney

After visiting other schools in the area, I compared them to TSPA, and my decision was easily made. I knew that I would receive a better education and understanding of not only the basics needed but also get a more modern approach to education including the business side of this industry. TSPA definitely exceeded my expectations.

I would have never imagined the amount of hands-on experience with cutting and coloring, along with the opportunity to build a clientele starting in cosmetology school. I feel I have a head start in my career and know how an actual salon operates.

Since completing my education at TSPA I have continued my education with Redken and am now a Redken Specialist and a Certified Pureologist. I am now working as a hairstylist and nail technician. I know my education at TSPA has led me to these great opportunities.

Jana Everett

What's happening in the industry?

The hair and fashion industry has never been as exciting and fresh as it is today! The combination of 60’s geometric’s along with the multi-texture’s of the 70’s and 80’s has resulted in significant twists within our thinking as artists and hairdressers.

What is the point of difference in Redken schools?

The key point of difference contained in all Redken schools are the learner-based approaches supported by the rock-solid principles of hair.

Facilitators take education to the next level encouraging all students not only to learn better but, also empowering them to be better.

What being a hairdresser means to me…

Empowerment to continue to do what I do best … hair design! Developing relationships as a coach and mentor with all students and clients alike. Working with them to not only look better but encouraging them to feel better about themselves.

Kenny BerkIndustry Leader

Who could have imagined a not-very enterprising young man, raised on a farm, would find himself working behind the scenes in movies, television, theater, and fashion? What’s even more amazing, after 50+ years behind the chair, this same fellow was rewarded with the opportunity to travel literally “around the world” teaching others, as an educator for one of the foremost cosmetic manufacturers in the industry!

And why has all this happened? Because, in my teens, I opted to become a cosmetologist. That’s the REAL potential before you. The diversified possibilities await you, should you choose to become part of this extraordinary business!

If fame is your quest and fortune your pursuit, you have the power within you to make it all come true! All you need to do is decide to take charge of your own destiny. Look to those experts best equipped to set you on the right path. Enroll today at TSPA and allow yourself to be prepared to live out your dreams.

Roy Peters

What is needed for today's ever-changing beauty industry, is change! Change is the way we need to educate our up-and-coming Salon Professionals. It is so NOT about just passing the State Board! It is about excelling in your career, right when you graduate! Being prepared for anything! Knowing what it takes to REALLY win in this industry! The Salon Professional Academy provides all of this and more. The students who complete this program are more confident, and comfortable in their own “Shears”! They are savvy to what it takes to make this a business, to win. As a salon owner for 13 years, well, I just have not seen this coming out of other schools. Principle Based Education, a common language, a proven way to succeed. Seeing confidence right from the start, having a plan, knowing how to achieve it! Yes, doing amazing hair is very important, however, that is not the real foundation that needs to be built. It is about showing the student how to be smart about their choices and the way they handle their business. This isn’t about being a “Stylist” it is about being a Salon Professional. I am excited about the grads coming out of this learning structure. They quite simply are a sure winner! Thank you TSPA for stepping up to the plate and raising the bar for everyone! You make a difference for many!

To give is the greatest gift,
~Brent Hardgrave

Brent Hardgrave

Cosmetology courses take less than one year to complete. A short-term investment for skills than that can provide a lifetime of rewards. Relevant beauty education must be maximized with daily doses of concentrated learning, delivered by trainers who care about teaching, to prepare the individual to hit the ground running. TSPA students are presented with this unique opportunity combined with a Redken-specific product focus. A valuable combination for a lucrative career is cosmetology. TSPA students are light years ahead of the competition!

David Stanko

David Stanko

Hairdressing has a whole new meaning in today’s society. The first choice you should make is finding the right school for you and your career.

How exciting would it be going into The Salon Professional Academy every day knowing that when you achieve your goal as a hair professional you will step into a salon with a high level of confidence?

Being a part of The Salon Professional Academy will not only teach you hairdressing skills, but you will also learn the fundamentals of how, what, and why behind the chair. With this comes confidence.

Redken has the highest form of education to learn from in our industry, with a specific language for you to Earn a Better Living to Live a Better Life.

Get Inspired, be apart of Redken’s Team, through The Salon Professional Academy.

Jeri Slagle

Welcome to a journey of adventure and excitement! I personally got into the business to make others feel the best that they can about themselves. To be able to still deliver a service with a personal touch is amazing these days! The difference we can make in someone's life with the talents we possess gives me goosebumps!

I knew wanted to continue further and faster in my career, so I chose Redken Education. Being a Salon Owner, an Artist For Chris Baran’s FUEL Education systems, and a former Redken artist for 17 years, I am honored to work with a company and people who care so much about others and our industry. Year after year Redken allows the salon professionals to grow and advance. We want students to become better stylists, change the industry, and succeed in whatever path they may choose.

I would’ve jumped at the chance to attend a salon professional academy. Here you will receive some of the most advanced training that will give you personal growth as well as professional growth. The education you get at TSPA will allow you to jump time! What that means is, that information that has taken years for some stylists, will be achievable to you in months! It is learner-based education that is supported by the principles of design, color, and finishing that help students take the guesswork out of their desired outcomes which allow them to make logical choices and ensure a feeling of empowerment!

Follow your dreams , stay focused, and remain open. Absorb as much as you can while you are enrolled at The Salon Professional Academy Nashville. It will go fast and will become some of the most memorable times of your life!

Jayson Morgan

As a former Redken Artist and a current national artist for Sam Villa’s company, I firmly believe in Redken’s method of “Principle-Based” education. This education, found at The Salon Professional Academy, will prepare you to enter—and succeed in—today’s extremely competitive marketplace. Instead of being trained in a few haircuts and color formulas, graduates of The Salon Professional Academy leave the school fully grounded in the “WHYs” of haircutting, coloring, business-building, and career pathing.

Oh, and getting to hang out with Redken’s coolest educators, who come from all over the nation to teach special educational programs, is never a bad thing.

I have the privilege of occasionally teaching at TSPA. I do this partly out of love for sharing my education with others, but mostly because it allows me to keep tabs on the newest batch of well-trained stylists who will soon be out there stealing my clients from me …

Jesse Linares

Jess Linares

Setting a foundation is the key to any successful building, as well as any career. I was fortunate many years ago to attend a Redken School, which has set me on a path I could not even dream of. Now, 25 years later, I have been fortunate enough to travel globally and represent Redken as a National Performing Artist. In those years, I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly! I’ve seen how important education is to the success of an individual, and TSPA Nashville offers that essential foundation.

Most beauty schools prepare you only for the state boards, which is important. But TSPA Nashville prepares you for a career in Hairdressing. They have the immediate knowledge of how to set their students up for success. With a hands-on approach to education, they really know how to work with a student individually and give them the What, Why, and How of each technique and skill needed to become successful. Their reputation in the industry also allows them connections to training, educators, and up to the latest trend information, which creates salon-ready professionals. I have had the fortune to work with some of their students and have seen firsthand the quality salon professionals that have passed through their Academy. Few other schools in the country are able to get such results with their students. But beyond all of that, they are able to do it all with integrity. All one has to do is tour their state-of-the-art Academy and they will see the difference.

The Hairdressing industry is one of the most rewarding careers possible. I’ve found that whichever facet you choose to pursue, TSPA Nashville will provide the bedrock to a lasting career.

Dhaniel Doud

Utilizing the fundamentals or “Principals” of hair cutting, coloring, texturizing and finishing, Tim Cowan will demonstrate how to create a variety of subtle changes or total re-imaging for your clients. Utilizing 25 years of experience as a stylist, Redken Exchange facilitator, educational director and salon owner, Tim will share innovative ways of expanding individual creativity by improving your technical skills.

Tim Cowan

Michael Cole’s track record in the salon industry has been absolutely phenomenal. He has accumulated over 30 years of experience as a stylist, manager, executive chain director, and multiple salon owner. For the last 20 years, Michael has been the founder and president of Salon Development Corporation, an international company specializing in salon business training.

He is a world-renowned recipient of numerous awards for his contribution in helping tens of thousands of salon professionals transform their businesses. The key to Michael’s success is his unique ability to observe current and future business trends and translate them into systems and methods by which salons achieve dramatic growth. He has been featured in all industry trade journals as an expert in salon management.

Michael Cole

Kevin Champagne, a Redken Artist, Certified Haircolorist, KRS Summit Salon owner, and award-winning stylist, has been in the industry for 31+ years now, over 27 of them with Redken. His quest for knowledge of all kinds plus his background in theatre, dance, and mathematics, makes Kevin uniquely qualified and helps him assist stylists in self-discovery which is the best way to learn. Kevin is qualified to teach and has taught all of Redken’s Color Platforms, from the salon level to main stage. His class, “Color 101”, was, for a few years, the most popular program offered at several distributor shows.

Kevin Champagne

You have made the right choice, my friends!

Never before has the industry seen a more passionate, committed approach to teaching future salon professionals. The Salon Professional Academy in Tennessee not only teaches the fundamentals, they incorporate the “real life” experiences of a salon environment that are essential to being successful once the hours are finished, the board has been taken and you step into your new profession.

Although the “stuff in the books” has to be mastered, it’s so much better to be in a place that actually cares how you progress each day, week, and month. The Salon Professional Academy is dedicated to your success, your livelihood, and beyond. You will find yourself in a safe place every day participating with energy. You will be encouraged to learn from your outcomes and share your experiences with others so they may learn from you, as well.

As a dedicated industry professional for over 30 years, I am still going strong as ever! I could not imagine myself doing anything else and I am grateful every day for the ability to change a person’s look AND outlook. The huge reward we get from all of this is that we make people feel better about themselves! How cool is that?

The education you are about to be exposed to has made me who I am today.

I wish you much success on your journey into this wonderful world of beauty. There is so much out there to strive for and there is no better place to get started than right here, The Salon Professional Academy in Tennessee! Aspire for more and go for greatness!

All the best,
Sam Villa
Redken Education Artistic Director

Sam Villa

Frequently Asked

When making any major decision in life, it’s natural to have questions…. A lot of questions. Listed here are the most frequently asked questions we receive about our program. 

The Salon Professional Academy teaches all theory and practical information as required by the Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners + other curriculum & skills  that are needed for a successful career in the industry.  We use Pivot Point, Summit Business Center, Michael Cole, Redken, Mizani, Creative Nail, Dermalogica and Sugar lash curriculum to enhance our teachings.

Academy students learn hair, skin and nail services, improving their skill set on mannequins, each other and guests.

We hold federal accreditation through NACCAS – National Accreditation Commission of Career Arts & Science.

We also hold state authorization through Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

According to 2022 data:

*National Average – $28,501

*State of Tennessee Average – $25,801

*Nashville Area Average – $26,601

* TSPA NASHVILLE – $52,275

Data provided by Michael Cole/Summit Salon Business Center in a 2022 survey conducted of The Salon Professional Academy – Nashville graduates after 3 years.

Start Your Career Today!

When you graduate from The Salon Professional Academy, you will be a knowledgeable and skilled professional ready to pass the state board exams and work as a cosmetologist.

Now Enrolling

For November 2024 Cosmetology Program