What is Cosmetology?

SSA students learning how to cut hair

If you’ve ever dreamed of working in a salon and helping others feel and look beautiful, a career in the beauty industry could be a great fit for you. This means that you will need to enroll in cosmetology school to earn your license first.

There are plenty of benefits to becoming a cosmetologist. For starters, cosmetologists can seek employment in various settings, work flexible hours, and meet new people daily. A career in cosmetology also allows you to express your creative side while helping others feel more confident in themselves.

To get started in this career, you’ll need to enroll in a state-certified cosmetology school to learn the necessary skills and complete your required training hours. Then, you’ll need to pass your state board exam to become a licensed cosmetologist.

So, is a cosmetology education right for you?

Here’s everything to know before applying and starting cosmetology school.

What is Cosmetology?

Cosmetology is the study and practice of different beauty treatments – all of which you can learn during cosmetology school.

Since Salon Success Academy is a cosmetology school in Southern California, students must first complete the 1,600 training hours required by the state. During this time, our students will take courses in the following areas of beauty:

  • Haircutting, coloring & styling
  • Chemical hair straightening & perming
  • Facials
  • Eyebrow arching & waxing
  • Nail Care

The beauty services that you’ll learn in cosmetology school are almost always in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for cosmetologists is expected to grow 19% by 2030! So, you may have great career opportunities upon graduation.

Cosmetology vs. Esthetics

Many beauty schools offer both cosmetology and esthetics courses. Although both fields have similar training requirements and are related to the beauty industry, they are quite different.

An esthetician program typcially focuses primarily on skincare services. This includes skills such as facials, exfoliations, peels, waxing, and makeup application.

Many estheticians provide their services in a spa environment – often at a medical or day spa. Estheticians can also work for organizations that offer skincare services, such as:

  • Hotels & Resorts
  • Movie & TV sets
  • Private Events

However, some estheticians may also choose to open their own private practices. This can be an enriching career path for those who enjoy the idea of becoming their own boss.

Even though becoming an esthetician is a great career choice for many people, becoming a cosmetologist often opens even more doors into the world of beauty. You have the opportunity to build skills in a variety of ways through hairstyling, hair cutting, makeup, skincare, nail design, and more! The program may be longer, but that means you have the opportunity to gain more experience in different areas of beauty that can impact your future in the beauty industry.

Cosmetologists learn perm theory for chemical waving (lash lift, brow lamination) and color theory chemistry (lash and brow tint). These services are services estheticians are performing illegally but cosmetologists are allowed due to their expanded learning which gives them a greater range in their scope of practice.

Where Do Cosmetologists Work?

There are many different career paths you can pursue after earning your cosmetology license. Here are just a few of your options:

A Hair Stylist in a Salon

Many students choose to work in hair salons after finishing their cosmetology education. The traditional salon setting offers a consistent work environment where you’ll see many clients each day, including walk-ins.

To advance your career as a salon hairstylist, you’ll want to build a good reputation with your clients through superior services to build loyal relationships. So, it’s essential to keep up with current hairstyle trends and provide excellent customer service.

Salon Owner

Another career option you can pursue after cosmetology school is opening your own salon. This is a rewarding career path if you have the right mindset for it.

However, it’s important to note that as a salon owner, you will have additional obligations. For instance, you will be responsible for hiring employees, staying compliant with local laws and regulations, and for marketing your business. All of these functions require some business training.

The cosmetology program at Salon Success Academy covers the business side of the beauty industry – so students receive the essential education they need when opening a salon.

Nail Technician

The demand for nail technicians is expected to rise by 33% over the next decade, So if you have a passion enjoy creating beautiful nail designs, it may be the perfect time to take up this career. As a nail technician, you can work for yourself as a freelancer or through a spa or salon.

Many cosmetology programs cover nailcare basics and can get you started on the path to becoming a manicurist. Depending on the program and state you live in, you may have to complete additional training for more advanced techniques in nail care, but a cosmetology program can teach you the basics and help you get started.

Freelancer or Agency Partner

You can work as a stylist for short-term events by freelancing or partnering with an agency that notifies you of opportunities.

Here are a few gigs you may want to work at:

  • Weddings & Private Events
  • Film & TV Sets
  • Advertisement, TV, & Film Sets
  • Private Events
  • Theatre Productions

These are just a few of the many career opportunities you can pursue after cosmetology school. Although you don’t need to make an immediate choice, you may discover what you want to do during your time as a cosmetology student.

Ready to Get Started?

At Salon Success Academy, we provide a comprehensive understanding of cosmetology theory and teach our students the hands-on skills they need. From day one, our interactive program prepares students for success in their future careers.

If you are interested in becoming a cosmetologist, we invite you to schedule a tour of Salon Success Academy today!