How to Build a Career with a Cosmetology School

Attending Classes Prepares You to Earn Your License and Get to Work

Most children spend years figuring out what they want to be when they grow up. Some are certain of their future career paths before they reach middle school. Still others search for purpose well past high school graduation.

Regardless of which category you fall into, if you’ve decided on a career as a hairstylist, hair colorist, makeup artist, or nail technician, then you need to start building toward your career by attending cosmetology school.

A comprehensive cosmetology education prepares students to build skills they can put to use in a salon setting. And schooling is required in order to qualify for licensure in every state of the U.S. – as well as passing an exam to prove you know your stuff.

Here’s what you’ll learn in cosmetology school, and what you can expect after graduation.

Cosmetologists need an understanding of certain scientific concepts in order to succeed in their careers. This is because the art of cosmetology deals with people’s bodies – hair, nails, and skin. Scientific knowledge teaches you how to care for these bodies.

You’ll need to understand how hair, nails, and skin grow, as well as understand proper sanitization and disinfection procedures to prevent cross-contamination and the transmission of pathogens.

If you don’t have a mind for science, this part of your cosmetology training may seem difficult. But once you put it into practice, you’ll become a master.

Chemistry is a focused area of science, and you should expect to learn plenty about chemistry while pursuing a career in cosmetology. Chemical services are those that use chemicals, such as hair coloring, waving, and relaxing.

To be successful, you’ll need to understand how these chemical treatments work, and the ingredients in them so you can achieve the desired results. Your ability to assess a client’s hair and scalp will help you determine the type of chemicals you can use on them, and for how long the chemical could safely be in contact with the hair.

Early Hair Services
In cosmetology school, you’ll learn foundational services like how to shampoo and rinse hair.

Although it doesn’t seem like a big deal, many clients look forward to a salon shampoo service. Performing one that effectively cleanses the hair and scalp and that feels good can make or break the rest of your client’s visit and affect whether you’ll retain them for additional appointments.

You’ll also learn about hair care products, what they do, and how to use them. The right products can make it easier to style hair after a cut, and if you’re an expert in selecting and using them, then you’ll end up with clients who love their results.

Hair Design
In cosmetology school, you won’t learn how to perform every haircut ever conceived of. Instead, you’ll learn techniques you can combine to achieve a variety of different haircuts. Once you master these techniques, you can technically perform any haircut anyone asks for.

Hair design also includes creating up-dos for special occasions, thermal styling and shaping, and installing hair extensions and hair pieces.

Non-Hair Services
Cosmetology is about so much more than hair. In cosmetology school in many states, students can work toward careers in makeup artistry and nail care and design. These topics are included in a comprehensive beauty education.

As a makeup artist, you’ll need to understand skin care needs, plus how to create makeup looks for all occasions. As a nail technician, you’ll perform a variety of types of manicures and pedicures, including applying polish and caring for the nail and cuticles.

After Graduation
When you’ve completed your beauty school’s training program, then you’ll be ready to apply for licensure in your state. Each state’s licensure requirements are different, so your school should have told you your next steps and helped you through them, if necessary.

Generally, after you graduate, you must apply to take an exam through your state’s board of cosmetology. This licensing body will have you complete a written exam and an oral test that requires you to demonstrate your skills as well.

To prepare for the test, you’ll want to be sure you’ve reviewed all your class notes and spent many hours behind the salon chair practicing your techniques.

If you pass your examination, then you’ll be a licensed cosmetologist and can begin working in a salon, or you can start your own independent business.

The path you choose is up to you, but the same cosmetology education prepares you for it.

Finding a School
To find a beauty school in your area, perform a Google search for “cosmetology school near me,” and review the results carefully.

Schedule tours at the schools you think you’d like to attend, and ask the admissions officers lots of questions about what you can expect from your education. Ask if you can talk to current students, and always inquire about what school alumni are up to in the cosmetology world.

When you find the school that’s right for you, you’ll know it, and you’ll want to enroll right away to get started pursuing your dream.


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Written by Virily Editor

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