School History

    The American Colleges of Hairstyling were originally founded as Moler Barber Colleges in 1899 and 1900, making them two of the oldest schools in the nation.  However, many people know the schools as either the Iowa Barber College or the Cedar Rapids Barber College.  Today, the curriculum includes the core skills of barbering in addition to the latest techniques of men's and women's hairstyling.

AB Moler
   AB Moler  started the first Moler Barber College in Chicago, in 1893, and in 1899 franchised one to Jack Farrell in St. Louis and another to Dwight Quaintance in Des Moines.

Bert Millis Sr.
    Bert Millis Sr. purchased the Des Moines Moler Barber College in 1912.  Soon afterward, he also obtained ownership of the Moler Barber College in St. Louis.  The name of the Des Moines school, located at 314 Locust Avenue, was changed to the Iowa Barber College.

 

Bert Millis Jr.
    In 1940, Bert Millis Sr. suffered a debilitating stroke and his only child, Bert Jr., stepped-in to run the schools.  During Bert Jr.'s tenure, the Iowa Barber College moved several times in Metro Des Moines.  In 1969, the Iowa Barber College moved to its present location at 603 East Sixth Street and was renamed the Iowa School of Barbering and Hairstyling.  In 1950, Bert purchased the Cedar Rapids Barber College and renamed it the Cedar Rapids School of Barbering and Hairstyling.
T.L. Millis
   In 1976, Bert's oldest son, Terry, assumed leadership of the family business.  He restructured the business and installed updated equipment and a revised curriculum that reflected changing trends.  In the late seventies, Terry founded the Kansas City School of Barbering and Hairstyling and moved the Missouri School of Barbering and Hairstyling to its current location in St. Louis.  In 1991, the names of the Des Moines school and the Cedar Rapids school were changed to the American College of Hairstyling.  Although "barbering" was dropped from the name, the schools continue to train students for obtaining a barber's license.

    Through the generations, the Schools' curriculum and philosophy have evolved to reflect trends in haircare services.  Now, the American Colleges of Hairstyling offer hairstyles, permanent waves, and hair color to both men and women.  Today, "hairstyling" is part of the name as it more clearly describes the curriculum and the services today's customers desire, and women have made up more than 50% of our enrollment.

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