We all know that when you look good, you feel good and who doesn’t like to look good? Living in a physical world means we like to look good physically but some people are more passionate about bringing this to life in others. Whether this is a result of a natural gift you have or one that you have to acquire, if you like to make others look good and feel good about themselves, cosmetology might be for you so below are somethings for you to think about to get started in this field.
What is Cosmetology?
Cosmetology is the study and application of beauty treatments, including hair styling and removal, skin care, cosmetics and nail care.
Careers in Cosmetology
While most people have a general knowledge of the main careers in this field, there are some that typically go unnoticed. Below is a list of some of the careers that you can pursue (both well-known and others):
- Hair stylist – as you may imagine, hair stylists’ jobs include treating hair (shampooing, cutting, colouring and styling). Hair stylists are also required to provide clients with information about what styles and colours are best for them based on their hair’s texture, condition, colour, and their complexion.
- Barber – Barbers cut and trim customers’ hair, beards and moustaches, following instructions or recreating example styles.
- Makeup artist – makeup artists use skill to enhance customers’ features using makeup products. This career can take you from applying makeup for weddings and events to working with actors and presenters on films and in theatre.
- Nail technician – Nail technicians care for, repair and decorate nails using nail art techniques. This includes manicures and pedicures, applying acrylic and using different forms of polish and gems to decorate the nails.
- Esthetician – This occupation involves evaluating the condition of a client’s skin, determining which treatments will best enhance that person’s appearance, then explaining and administering those treatments to the client. Estheticians give clients facials, remove unwanted hair, do microdermabrasion, apply chemical peels, and sell skincare products.
The requirements for jobs in this field are mostly dependent on which area you decide to go into. For example, it is not typically mandatory across the board for you to have academic qualifications to become a hair stylist, barber or makeup artist. However, this is not to say that you can just pick up a pair of scissors or palette and get to work.
To better prepare yourself for any one of these careers, it is advised that you undertake courses and certifications as some territories require this before acquiring your license to practice in these areas. Certificates or diplomas usually take between 12 and 18 months to complete. You can also train as a cosmetologist at a beauty school or a vocational school or seek a work-based apprenticeship program that combines on-the-job training with academic study.
Similarly for Nail technicians, there are no set requirements for academic qualifications apart from nail tech courses. It is possible to get apprenticeships in nail services to provide structure training. Nail techniques are constantly changing and so it is important to keep up to date by continued learning.
As it relates to Estheticians, you would usually have to complete a program generally takes about 2 years. This would be followed by becoming licensed in whichever area you are based.
It is important to appreciate that most cosmetology jobs are physically demanding as you tend to spend most of your day on your feet and often work long hours. But the reward of satisfied clients is priceless!
Other skills that would benefit you include:
- People skills: An ability to interact well with others, and to be pleasant and friendly even under trying circumstances can be invaluable.
- Creativity: Creativity and a willingness to adapt to new trends can be important.
- Listening skills: As this job entails pleasing the customer, it is essential you are able to listen to what they are asking and at the very least, listen to them talk while they sit and wait for you to finish your masterpiece.
- Physical stamina: You’ll spend a lot of time on your feet.
- Tidiness: This doesn’t mean just your work station. Personal tidiness is very important as well. Remember, you are an example of your own work.
How to Stand Out
Although it is not a necessity at all, being skilled in Art or even having an Art degree of some sort will benefit the likes of Makeup Artists and Nail Technicians who use colours in their job on a daily basis – it would be helpful to know how colours work and blend together and what they symbolize as a tool for telling stories. It would also help you to really please your customer if you have good attention to detail whether you work with hair, skin or nails.
Get Hands-On Experience
You can try going to local hair salons or barbers to ask to intern with them – lots of people may be willing to help you get started in your career if you approach them.
Make use of free resource hubs like YouTube and Instagram to source tutorials and perfect your craft from home.
Fun fact – in the old days, makeup was used to frighten enemies, show a social rank or make magic.
See our Cosmetology Brainie of the Month: Tianna Williams – https://brainfoodtci.org/2020/04/24/brainie-of-the-month-tianna-williams/