Cosmetology refers to the profession which deals with enhancing and improving a person’s personal appeal. It involves grooming, hair cutting and styling, make up and skin care, manicure and pedicure, bleaching, shampooing and scalp massaging, hair removal, make up application, scalp treatment, wig care and styling and other aspects of the beauty industry.

As a profession, cosmetology requires both creativity and in-depth knowledge. As the focus of these jobs lies in making others look their best, one must have an intuitive knack for visualizing. One must have the vision to predict the effect of colors (of hair and makeup) on a person’s appearance, as well as the types of flattering hairstyles for particular features.

Expert and talented cosmetologists are in demand not both the glamour and fashion industry and the beauty industry and are sought after by anyone who cares about their appearance.

For careers in cosmetology, one must of course have a basic degree or diploma in the field. The advantage of the stream is that one may keep on adding to their knowledge base and add supplementary qualifications in hair care and grooming and the latest developments in the industry. Most courses are of short duration and are also available part time, so that one may complete them alongside gathering experience in the industry.

Qualified cosmetologists find employment in beauty salons and as beauty consultants in retail stores. They are also much in demand for retail sales of cosmetic products or to manage beauty trade shows. Of course, as one gains experience and builds contacts, one may start off her own cosmetology business, become a specialist and rent a chair in a salon. Some also become instructors.

An average cosmetologist earns around $23,000 per annum, with salaries ranging between $15,530 and $42,460 per person per annum. Apart from being creative and lucrative, another advantage of a career in this field is that it gives a lot of flexibility in timing. It can be taken up as a part time profession and consultants get to set their own time limits on their work hours. Also, cosmetology will keep growing and the demand for experienced cosmetologists will never go down.

However, to be really successful as a cosmetologist, one must keep abreast of all new developments in the beauty and personal care industry. New products and equipment are constantly being developed today. Most companies organize workshops and updating programs for people. These must be attended, along with finding time for new certifications and increasing the basket of services being offered. For example, a specialist in hair care may add qualifications about hair styling and perming / straightening. Customers today are demanding and prefer to be serviced by people who have extensive knowledge.

Interpersonal relationship skills are also very important for a successful career in cosmetology. One must be able to make clients feel comfortable and relaxed, and look forward to their visits to the professional. Effective communication skills and knowledge of body language are important in this career.

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