Cosmetology is primarily concerned with the art and science of helping people look good. This covers a wide array of disciplines and specialties, including hair care and cutting, nail care and other non-medical ways to improve a person's appearance. If you're somebody who thinks that you have an eye for beauty and the mind and hands to help other people achieve that goal, then maybe a career in cosmetology is the best option for you.
A good cosmetologist is someone who is well-trained in his or her chosen field of cosmetology, and one that has good all around know-how about the other disciplines of the subject. Since it is largely a service profession, a cosmetologist must love to interact with people and should be willing to help out with other people who have problems with their appearance and personal hygiene.
- To be a cosmetologist, one needs to adhere to the minimum requirements set by the state. Some states require cosmetologists to be at least a graduate of a state-licensed beauty school, while some others make do with a high school diploma. In fact, some other schools even allow people who only finished up to the eighth grade to have a shot at being a licensed cosmetologist. To be sure about these requirements, consult with your local government.
- To be a cosmetologist of the highest order, you would probably want to study in a high profile beauty school. These schools are nothing like the typical colleges and universities that your classmates in high school probably go to after graduation. The subjects are mainly concerned with how to cut hair, attaching gel nails or other ways of embellishing someone's nails, basic skin care and similar concepts. These topics, lectures and demonstrations help you become a better cosmetologist in the future.
- Some states actually allow people to skip going to beauty school and have them take apprenticeship courses instead. However, since there is a shortage of high-profile experts in cosmetology who are willing to take young students to turn them into their prodigies, apprenticeship is quite uncommon.
- Once you finish schooling, you will have to apply for licensing under your state's regulatory board. All cosmetologists (except for the shampoo technicians - the people who apply shampoo to a client's hair prior to a hair cut) are also required to have a physical examination and a certification that proves that he is adept with the accepted standards for sanitation, hygiene and ethics. These tests and other procedures are governed by the state's department for health and a local cosmetology board. These two are the check and balance mechanism that will be the arbiter to any case involving cosmetological concerns.
- People in cosmetology usually specialize. If you want to do nails or just do facials, you may take a sub-specialty license that is also given out by the state's local cosmetology board.
The requirements may sound easy, but just like in any career, it takes a lot determination and guts to be a success. It's not always easy to make people more beautiful, but with the right skills and attitude, you can bring out the best in yourself.