Cosmetologist Career Information
What a Cosmetologist does
A wide range of beauty products are available in the market today. Which one's right for your skin type? What hairstyle will suit your face? These are some of the basic solutions provided by a cosmetologist. They are beauticians who are trained in the art of making a person look his/her best. Cosmetologists perform a wide range of services like hair cuts, styling, perming, colouring, facials and massages for relaxation.
While suggesting hairstyles a cosmetologist keeps in mind the facial structure, hair texture and lifestyle of the client. They need to be abreast with the latest in hairstyles and cutting techniques. A cosmetologist also shampoo, straighten hair or give it a permanent wave.
In addition, most cosmetologists are trained to give manicures, pedicures, and scalp and facial treatments; provide make-up analysis for women; and clean and style wigs and hairpieces.
It is the responsibility of the Cosmetologists to keep the work environment clean by sanitising all their hairdressing implements. Apart from accommodating new clients they also keep a track of the skin type, preferences, skin care routine, and other such details of their regular clients.
A growing number of workers in beauty care offer specialised services. The largest and fastest growing of these is hairstylists, who cut, trim, perm, colour, style hair.
Another group of specialists is estheticians, who cleanse and beautify the skin by giving facials, full-body treatments, head and neck massages, and offer hair-removal through waxing.
Electrologists use an electrolysis machine to remove hair. Finally, shampooers specialize in shampooing and conditioning patrons' hair in some larger salons.
Most cosmetologists work regular hours, but are expected to put in extra hours on weekends, festivals and the wedding season.
After completing the course as a Cosmetologists you could approach a beauty salon for a job. During the first few months on the job, you will be entrusted with relatively simple tasks. Once you have demonstrated your skills, you are gradually permitted to perform the more complicated tasks such as giving shaves, colouring hair, perming etc.
Cosmetologists are constantly learning on the job to build on the basics learned in cosmetology school. Because trends in hair styles, hair colour, etc are constantly changing, cosmetologists must keep abreast of the latest fashions and beauty techniques.
This is done by attending product shows and workshops. These shows offer workshops and demonstrations of the latest techniques and expose cosmetologists to a wide range of products that they can recommend to clients-an important skill as retail sales become a more important part of the salon industry.
Cosmetologists who operate their own salons have managerial duties that include hiring, supervising as well as keeping records and ordering supplies.
After acquiring a few years of experience of managing large salons cosmetologists open their own establishments. Teaching at a cosmetology school is another option.
Sales representatives for cosmetics firms, beauty editors for newspapers or magazines, etc also offer good prospects. Other options include working as beauty or fashion consultants.
Cosmetologists are also recruited by TV, film and modeling agencies as make up artists.
To a large degree, advancement in this field is based not only on talent, but on the cosmetologist's willingness to continue training to keep up with changing hair styles and beauty techniques.
The increasing desire for personal services by a growing population is the source of growth in this field. The self-employment rate in this field is high. There is even scope for freelance wherein you work for a salon but also visit homes to render services. There are also more opportunities for part-time work for those who desire it.
Increased demand for specialty personalized services has created opportunities for the entrepreneurially minded Cosmetologist.
Abilities & Traits Required
The first and foremost requirement for this line of work is an eye for beauty. As a cosmetologist you need to be abreast with the latest in beauty products, techniques and styles. For that you need to be a keen reader and even keep track of some of the style shows on television.
As a cosmetologist you got to be ready with suggestion as well as open to recommendations from your client. You need to understand what your client is seeking and then offer suitable suggestions. For that it is very important to be aware of the lifestyles and preferences. Most cosmetologists prefer to keep a record of these things.
Communication is an integral part of the profession. As a a cosmetologist you need to be adept at keeping your client engaged in small talk. It helps to be a good listener to be able to offer good solutions. Image and attitude also play an important role in career success.
Business skills are also important for those who plan to operate their own salons, and the ability to be an effective salesperson is becoming vital for nearly all cosmetologists.
The task of a cosmetologist involves long hours of standing on the feet. Procedures like curling and perming takes 2-3 hours. Apart from good stamina, an eye for colour is also needed in this line. Prolonged exposure to some hair and nail chemicals may be hazardous and cause irritation, so special care must be taken.
There are many private vocational schools that offer classes in cosmetology. These are mostly run by reputed salons. Full-time programmes in cosmetology usually last 10 to 24 months. These include classroom study, demonstrations, and practical work. There is no eligibility criterion for admission.
Cosmetologists are also trained in communication, sales, and general business practices. There are advanced courses for cosmetologists in hairstyling and colouring. Most schools teach hairstyling of men's as well as women's hair.
Industry insiders recommend visiting several salons prior to beginning your career in Cosmetology, just to get a feel for the industry, whether or not it works for you. Employment in a professional salon, rather than starting on your own, provides more benefits and stability in the long term
Cosmetologists usually receive a monthly salary. Apart from that they also get tips and many receive commissions on the products they sell.
A number of factors determine the earnings of a cosmetologist. These include the size and location of the salon, the number of hours worked, customers' tipping habits, and the competition from other salons.
A cosmetologist's initiative and ability to attract and hold regular clients also are key factors in determining their earnings.
Earnings for entry-level workers are usually low; however, for those who stay in the profession, earnings can be considerably higher.
For starters, a make-up artist can command around Rs 1500-2500 for a day's work on an advertising campaign. For a modelling assignment, emoluments would be higher at around Rs 10000-35000.
Top-of-the-line professionals command higher rate. With experience, a cosmetologists can charge as much as Rs.50000-60000 for a single bridal makeup.