Cosmetology is an excellent field for those interested in different beautification techniques and trends. It allows cosmetologists the flexibility to provide cosmetic services to a client’s hair, skin, and nails. It also enables cosmetologists to work in different settings such as salons, spas, resorts, or hotels.
Cosmetology is a diverse and ever evolving field which provides opportunities for continued professional development. As new techniques and trends emerge, cosmetologists can increase their skillset and widen the services they offer to clients.
What is Cosmetology?
Cosmetology is the study and application of beauty treatments to hair, skin, and nails. Cosmetologists are licensed professionals who perform beautifying services such as hairstyling, makeup application, facials, manicures, and pedicures. With this training, cosmetologists have the opportunity to further hone a specialty or perform a wider variety of beautifying services.
Cosmetologists receive a well-rounded education which prepares them to work in a number of diverse roles. Cosmetologists can operate as hairstylists, nail technicians, beauty consultants, makeup artists, business owners, estheticians, and more. However, hairstylists, nail technicians, and makeup artists are not necessarily cosmetologists.
The difference between a cosmetologist and a hairstylist or nail tech lies in their training. Cosmetologists are well-versed in beautifying treatments relating to hair, skin, and nails. Whereas hairstylists and nail techs are only trained in cosmetic services relating to those respective fields.
Cosmetology is a broad field with various career opportunities and potential for continuous professional and personal growth.
Specialties within Cosmetology
In addition to cosmetic procedures, cosmetologists study sterilization and sanitation procedures to maintain a safe environment for coworkers and clients. They study the chemical makeup and reactions of common products used during routine beautifying treatments. They also understand how chemicals interact when mixed together.
This background in chemistry helps cosmetologists to understand their products and use them effectively.
Cosmetologists are trained to provide cosmetic hair and scalp treatments. They prioritize their clients’ hair and scalp health before, during, and after beautifying hair procedures. Cosmetologists educate clients throughout their appointments and suggest ways for them to maintain their hair and scalp health between visits.
Cosmetologists shampoo, condition, and style hair as well as perform corrective treatments to minimize breakage and shedding. They may style hair using chemicals, hot combs, or flat irons based on the client’s preferences.
When bleaching, coloring, and relaxing hair, cosmetologists must be mindful of the chemicals being used and how they interact. Knowing how these chemicals impact the client’s hair allows cosmetologists to choose the safest products to counteract negative side effects.
There are a wide range of roles available to cosmetologists interested in providing beautifying hair services. Cosmetologists interested in hair can narrow their expertise to natural hair, loc installation and repair, wigs, colorists, and more. They may also consider becoming a:
- Wig Maker
- Hair Colorist
- Shampoo Assistant
Cosmetologists can perform cosmetic skin treatments such as color correction through make-up application and hair removal. They are able to remove unwanted facial hair using wax or tweezers. Cosmetologists may also provide full body hair removal services in specialty salons with sugaring treatments, hard wax, and soft wax.
Cosmetologists may perform facials to improve the appearance of skin. During these treatments, they cleanse the top layer of skin, exfoliate, remove impurities from pores, and relax facial muscles through massage.
Products such as serums, moisturizers, masks, and sunscreen may be applied during facials. These products can be used to treat oiliness, lock in hydration, and protect skin from UV rays.
When applying makeup, cosmetologists use different techniques and color blends to enhance a client’s natural beauty. They use color theory to color correct, create contrasts, and select the best color palette for various skin tones. Understanding color theory helps cosmetologists mix colors without compromising saturation and create seamless transitions between shades.
There are a variety of roles available to cosmetologists interested in providing beautifying skin services. Cosmetologists interested in cosmetic skincare can consider becoming a(n):
- Makeup Artist
- Estheticians (may also be spelled “aestheticians”)
- Wax Technician
- Lash Technician
- Beauty Blogger
Beautifying treatments and procedures on nails are commonly called manicures. They involve sculpting, buffing, and painting nails to improve appearance and protect the natural nailbed. Cosmetologists also treat the skin around nails to keep the cuticles healthy which helps to create stronger nails.
Cosmetologists are able to extend nail length using acrylic extensions, gel extensions, and PolyGel extensions. Acrylic, gel, and PolyGel can be used to strengthen the natural nail to prevent breakage.
Cosmetologists can alter the appearance and color of nails using gel polish, regular nail polish, dip powder, and acrylic powder. This can be applied directly to the natural nail or alongside nail tips. Cosmetologists can also create nail art using a mix of polish, rhinestones, glitter, tape, or stickers on a client’s nail.
As part of the manicure, cosmetologists perform hand and arm massages to promote relaxation and circulation.
During pedicures, cosmetologists use their knowledge of nail and skin care to improve the appearance of feet and toenails. Cosmetologists exfoliate feet, treat calluses, trim nails, massage legs, moisturize feet, and polish toenails.
Cosmetologists interested in providing beautifying nail treatments may consider roles such as:
- Nail Technicians (can provide both manicures and pedicures)
- Nail Artist
How to Become a Cosmetologist
Becoming a cosmetologist is as simple as completing a cosmetology program and earning a cosmetology license. Cosmetology programs can be completed in 1500 clock hours and prepare students to perform hair, skin, and nail cosmetic services. These programs provide students the opportunity to practice and refine their new skills on mannequins before practicing on live models.
Genesis College’s Cosmetology program prepares students for a variety of career possibilities and avenues for professional development. It prepares students to take the state board exam and become licensed cosmetologists upon completion. Additionally, our program provides business training and education to become a cosmetology teacher.
Upon program completion, it is up to the cosmetologist to stay informed of beauty trends, techniques, and technologies. Cosmetologists may improve existing skills or develop new skills through additional training and education.
Cosmetology is a diverse, ever evolving, and exciting career field with a wide range of career opportunities. From hairstyling to skincare and nailcare, cosmetology combines creativity and technical expertise to improve a client’s appearance and confidence. With the emergence of new trends, technology, and techniques, comes more opportunities for professional growth.
Genesis College’s Cosmetology program provides training for alternative careers in education and business management. Interested in learning more about our Cosmetology program? Call us at (833) 988-3850 or submit this form to request more information.