Getting an Education in Cosmetology

Cosmetology is the specialized treatment of skin, hair, and nails. It consists of hair styling, manicuring and facials. A hairdresser is a cosmetologist who specializes in hair. He/she colors, cuts, and styles hair. Manicurists/pedicurists and makeup technicians are also cosmetologists. In order to master these skills, you must attend cosmetology school.

When you seek a cosmetology education, a generalized cosmetologist license is what you’ll receive. The license certifies that you have the fundamental skills to practice. However, each area in cosmetology is specific and as such, each field must be certified independently.


In order to qualify as a hair stylist, you must be proficient with the material. You must learn everything there is about hair in order to be able to work with diverse clientele. For example, you need to know when hair is curly, kinky, straight or thin. You’ll also need to determine if hair is thick or thin. Since you will be dealing with hair products, you must learn the chemistry of each product you use and know the effects it may have on a person’s scalp. When you bleach or color hair, diverse colors are made of chemicals that can be harmful if not handled with care. Usually, ammonia and other chemicals that can harm the eyes, nose, and lungs are present. Also, because cutting hair involves using sharp scissors and tools, you’ll have to know how to style, cut, dye, clip hair without cutting the client’s skin or scalp.


If you want to be a manicurist or pedicurist, it’s imperative to be certified to cut the skin around the skin. Trimming nails, cutting cuticles, and or managing the hand or feet must be mastered to prevent accidents or injuring a client. Applying nail polish and or putting on acrylic nails is an art form. Acrylic manicures or pedicures must be done with precision. Some stylists paint artistic designs.


Facials, hair removal, skin treatment and applying makeup to the face are specialized skills that must be acquired. You must comprehend different skin tones, types, and sensitivities. When applying creams or wax, some people have allergic reactions. You must be able to recognize an allergic reaction, inform the client and offer a solution to stop the irritation.

In addition to the skin, face, and hair programs, cosmetology school provides courses in permanent makeup application and other laser techniques. Cosmetology education will also provide a hands-on experience which is imperative when you work directly with a person’s nails, hair, and epidermis. Moreover, school teaches students the business side to cosmetology. You’ll learn to manage staff and the financial responsibility it takes to run a salon.

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