Cosmetology programs are typically found at beauty schools or 2-year community colleges. All states require cosmetologists to obtain a license before practicing; cosmetology programs often prepare students to sit for such licensing exams. Students taking cosmetology courses may wish to become hair stylists, manicurists or aestheticians, and programs will include hands-on practice opportunities in these fields.
Here is a list of topics commonly taught in cosmetology courses:
- Make-up artistry
- Wig care
- Chemical theory
- Frosting and highlighting
- Sales techniques
List of Classes
Basic Safety and Sanitation Course
In all areas of cosmetology, good hygiene and sanitation must be followed. Students in a basic safety and sanitation course are taught proper techniques for using beauty tools. Skills are developed in the adequate cleaning of such tools and the maintenance of work stations. Specific sanitation laws and regulations pertaining to the licensing state may be covered. This cosmetologist class may also cover the basics in salon supply inventory.
Hair Care Course
Cosmetology includes hair styling and cutting services. In a hair care course, students learn to perform basic tasks in shampooing, hair coloring and scalp treatments. A hair care course may be broken down into basic, intermediate and advanced courses, or these topics may be studied throughout a cosmetologist's school career. Additional skills taught in this course may include hair styling, cutting, chemical treatments and scalp massage.
Aesthetics and Hair Removal Course
An aesthetics and hair removal course introduces students to proper methods in hair removal and, sometimes, massage. The first part of this cosmetology class covers basic terminology and tools an aesthetician (a provider of beauty treatments for the skin) may use. Skills are then developed in waxing, eyebrow arching, make-up application, tinting eyebrows and general skin care.
Nail Care Course
Cosmetology classes in nail care cover the basics in manicures and pedicures. Students learn to massage the hands and feet and shape a client's finger- and toenails. This course may also be broken into two parts, with one part concentrating on hands and the other on feet. Students practice the application of paraffin dips, spa pedicures and manicures, hot oils and foot- or hand-wraps.
Skin Science Course
Students in a skin science class learn about skin analysis, the proper tools used in giving a facial and the cosmetics available specifically for the face. Students gain hands-on training in applying massage techniques, skin conditioning, skin masks and electrical facials. Cosmetologist courses on facials may sometimes be combined with aesthetics courses.
Salon Management Course
A salon management course covers basic operational skills in running a business. Students also learn general skills relevant to cosmetology and salon management, including communication, organization and leadership. Depending on the program, this course may be required of all cosmetology students. Additional topics covered may include hiring personnel, state licensing regulations and the cosmetology job search.