What are professional associations affiliated with the beauty industry?

Today, the beauty industry encompasses a diverse group of professionals. Spa and salon owners and operators, barbers, cosmetologists, beauticians, nail technicians, hair colorists, electrologists, estheticians, massage therapists and makeup artists all fall within the scope of the beauty industry.

An additional complicating factor in the field of cosmetology in the United States concerns state licensing requirements, which vary considerably from one state to another. Although many professions today maintain fairly uniform licensing standards, cosmetology is not one of them! For example, states today often impose variable classroom hour requirements upon graduates seeking licenses in different aspects of professional beauty care.

One consequence of this industry-wide diversity involves the development of numerous professional associations and trade organizations. Many large and small organizations representing different groups within the beauty industry exist today. Some of these entities focus mainly on lobbying issues, while others stress continuing education and seminars to train members. Still other professional associations sponsor beauty shows or trade show events where participants can showcase beauty care products. This industry enjoys great variety.

Some of the Largest Professional Associations in the Beauty Industry

With the caveat that many new organizations arise in this field, here are just some of the largest professional associations affiliated with the beauty Industry:

  • The American Association of Cosmetology Schools: A nonprofit organization founded in 1924, the AACS opens its membership to all cosmetology, massage, skin, nail and barbering schools that are privately owned to sponsor classes and keep members updated about teaching methods, new legislation and industry events (www.beautyschools.org);


  • The Professional Beauty Federation: The PBF merged with the National Cosmetology Association (NCA)a few years ago to form a large nonprofit business coalition that seeks to further the interests of people working within the professional beauty industry (www.probeautyfederation.org);


  • Allied Health Association: A large professional organization serving allied health care and beauty professionals (www.alliedhealth.net);


  • National Coalition of Estheticians, Manufacturers/Distributors & Associations: This group advocates for professional standards and certification of estheticians (www.ncea.tv);


  • Cosmetologists Chicago: An organization with over 7,000 members, the CC sponsors an annual American Beauty Show; its membership includes beauty salon professionals and members of the Nail Technicians Association (NTA), the American Association for Estheticians (AAE) and the Cosmetologos Latinos (CL)(www.cosmetologistschicago.com);


  • Personal Care Products Council: Tracing its origins back to 1894, the PCPC is a large trade association (www.personalcarecouncil.org).