Teach Me: What Do You Really Learn in Cosmetology School Anyway?Blog ▸ Beauty Career, Beauty Student Advice | November 21, 2013
Okay so you’ve thought about beauty school…in fact, you’ve thought about it so much you are starting to look at schools. Online research is how most of us gather information these days; I don’t think I will get too many people disputing that. Each school will have a nice looking website without a doubt, but it does not really create a great visual for what you learn once you’re there. “Hair.” That is probably what anyone on the street would say if you asked them what you learn in cosmetology school. And they would be right, because hair is definitely a major component of what cosmetology school curriculums consist of. But don’t be deceived; there is quite a bit more to cosmetology than just “hair”. In fact, when I myself decided to go to Cosmetology School, I had no idea that it was anything beyond just learning how to do hair
As a Career Planning Specialist at Empire it is my primary role to meet with people interested in all the possibilities Cosmetology school can offer. Cosmetology is hair, skin, nails, and makeup. Much more than just hair. The best part about having a Cosmetology license is that you can pursue any one of those fields as much or little as you choose. Having a Cosmetology license does not mean you are destined to stand behind the chair for your entire career. Doors are opened, and for many people, that is something they have always wanted, or needed from a career field.
Let’s say your client, Betty, comes in for her haircut and color, like she always does every 6 weeks. There’s a chance that the appointment is strictly about Betty’s hair and nothing else. However, there’s also a chance that Betty wants ‘the works’, and that means a manicure, a pedicure, a makeup application, eyebrow arch, etc. This is where you (and I) are reminded how wonderful it is to have gone through Cosmetology school…because your license; and what you’ve learned in Cosmetology school, say you can offer Betty each and every one of those services! You do not have to send her to some else’s chair and essentially, paycheck. Yay!!
Cosmetology schools can be very different as far as how they teach, and obviously every teacher will have a unique teaching style, but the material covered is the same regardless of where you go and who you learn from. What state you learn is can also play into the length of time spent on each topic. Here in Wisconsin, we require one of the highest numbers of hours in country: 1800. I have no idea how each state decides on hours required to take your State Board Exam, but someday I hope to learn. So our program in Wisconsin is approximately a year to complete at a Full Time schedule. A year to learn how to cut, style, (formulate and) color, re-texture, change, manipulate, and reshape men’s and women’s hair. A year to learn how to apply natural, dramatic, special FX, and trendy makeup. A year to learn how to remove, shape, sculpt, and groom facial hair. A year to learn how to file, buff, shape, polish, clean and care for natural and artificial nails. A year to learn how to massage, manipulate, diagnose, and treat scalp and skin. A year to learn how to communicate with guests and coworkers, how to be the best and most fabulous Salon Professional you can be! That is a snapshot of what you learn, and also keep in mind that does not even cover the State Board test. Passing your State Board exams is one of the best feelings any Cosmetology School student could ever hope to have. State Board exams have a very specific methodology, which is why it is also a major concentration while attending Cosmetology School.
I feel like I could go on and on, but the point I am trying to make is that there is SO MUCH to learn. And everyone knows the beauty industry is always changing, and trends are always coming and going…so in turn, Cosmetology School curriculums evolve a little each year. Each student has the ability to get an educator to focus on teaching whatever trend is current, so that the student graduates with the knowledge and skills to start a successful career in Cosmetology right away. Let me repeat that last part, because I think it is really the best way to sum it up: Each student graduates with the knowledge and skills to start a successful career in Cosmetology right away. That is what you learn in beauty school!