How to Become a Cosmetologist

How to Become a Cosmetologist

Many individuals want to know how to become a cosmetologist because they enjoy providing beauty treatments for others, including styling hair, applying makeup or manicuring fingernails. Every geographic region has specific regulations concerning working legally as a cosmetologist to ensure clients at beauty salons receive safe treatments that do not cause physical harm to the face or body. Anyone interested in appropriate training that leads to cosmetology certification should check their geographic region’s professional licensing board to determine the best schools to attend. Many cosmetology programs are offered at community colleges or trade schools that have the proper accreditation from a region’s licensing board. Cosmetology schools require that students have a high school or general equivalence diploma before enrolling in coursework to learn the skills necessary to style hair or perform manicures. While in high school, students interested in becoming a cosmetologist should enroll in a variety of classes to gain a broad education. Because a cosmetologist works with various parts of the body, learning about physiology and anatomy is vital. Additional things to learn include mathematics in order to measure products correctly and communication to assist with discussing treatments with clients in a salon setting.

Complete an Appropriate Cosmetology Program

While enrolled in a trade school or community college, students will learn detailed information about hair, nails and skin to provide safe beauty treatments for clients. Students must learn to recognize dangerous conditions on a client’s scalp such as lice, eczema or infections that make it dangerous to dye hair or apply chemicals. In addition to learning from textbooks, classroom lectures and computer programs, students will participate in practical projects such as styling a wig. Many cosmetology schools offer free or low-cost services to the public in exchange for being a practice subject for advanced students. Most cosmetology programs are short-term programs that last only six months to learn manicuring skills or 12 months to learn hairstyling techniques, leading to an educational certificate. However, there are associate degree programs that provide more extensive training in complex beauty treatments that many clients request at exclusive spas and salons. Completing an associate degree in cosmetology is also helpful for anyone who wants to own or manage a facility that offers skin care, makeup application or haircuts for men, women and children.

Achieve an Acceptable Examination Score

The geographic area an applicant lives in will require that a school provides detailed information on the number of classroom and practicum hours a student completed. Students must pass a specialized examination concerning cosmetology that will have questions about safety regulations, human anatomy and routine beauty care treatments. After completing the examination, a cosmetologist is required to supply a copy of the certificate to an employer for verification necessary for health inspectors. New cosmetologists are often monitored closely by an experienced employee to continue their training. In addition to the initial certification, a cosmetologist is often required to complete new coursework each year to update their education.