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How to Become a Cosmetologist

All cosmetologists, whatever their intended specialization, need to attend some sort of beauty college or community college. Since cosmetology is a licensed profession, a certain number of hours of theory and practice at a beauty college are required before an aspiring cosmetologist can qualify to take the state licensing exam.

Cosmetology colleges are fairly easy to find, since the position of hairstylist is in so much demand. In major metropolitan areas, cosmetology courses are often offered at local community colleges, albeit through a specialized vocational/technical program. While attending cosmetology college, students will learn the basics of beauty: hair, nails and skin. After practice on a mannequin head, students advance to practicing permanent waves, shampooing and setting, cutting, coloring and styling on clients who pay a discounted rate. They will also learn manicuring skills for hands and feet, although some more advanced treatments like paraffin wax may be left for specialized courses. Finally, you’ll learn the basics of skin care: cleansing, treating and waxing.

To a prospective student, choosing a cosmetology college may be difficult, especially if there is more than one in the area. Private cosmetology schools often carry big names like Aveda, Vidal Sassoon or Paul Mitchell, but the tuition also carries a hefty price tag. A one-year course in cosmetology could cost as much as $10,000. Since all students must learn the same skills to earn their license, it’s a good investment to find a reasonably priced cosmetology college to launch your career.




Milady’s Standard Cosmetology , 2004


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