What Do You Learn at Cosmetology Schools?

Your Education Prepares You for Your Career: Cosmetologists help people feel beautiful or handsome. They act as impromptu therapists and friends. They are “people-people” by definition. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, you should consider attending cosmetology school to become a hairstylist, barber, makeup artist, nail technician, and more.

Your beauty school classes will prepare you to serve a variety of clients in your salon. Let’s take a look at the kinds of things you’ll be tasked with learning when you attend.

Learn at Cosmetology Schools
Learn at Cosmetology Schools. Image by Pxfuel

Requirements Vary by State

The qualifications necessary to become a licensed cosmetologist varies by state. What is constant across state lines, however, is that all practicing cosmetologists must be licensed through their state’s responsible entity. 

Your state’s rules for how to become licensed also likely outlines the basics of all mandatory cosmetology curricula. When you attend school and complete your classes, you’ll be prepared to take your state’s licensing exam. This requirement may vary from state to state, so your best bet is to do some internet research on cosmetology licensure requirements.

In general, what makes a good cosmetologist in one state makes a good one in another, which is why we can safely say we can give you a quick and fairly accurate overview of what you’ll learn in cosmetology school.

Health and Safety

As a cosmetologist, you are around people and chemicals every day. It’s only right that one of the first things you learn is about health and safety practices. 

The contents of this part of the curriculum are about more than just disinfecting your combs. It’s also overall cleanliness, proper sanitation, infection prevention, infestation prevention, and much more. 

You should expect to learn some basic chemistry, too, with regard to cleaning and hair styling products. Biology is yet another key component; cosmetologists understand more than the average person about hair, nails, and skin!

Styling and Cutting Hair

When you learn to be a cosmetologist, you aren’t taught how to cut every hairstyle under the sun. Instead, you learn individual techniques to use to complete the cut your client requests. You’ll practice the classics: bobs, pixies, layers, and more, and then apply what you learned to a hairstyling head before moving onto a real human being!

Blow-outs, perms, updos, and more are common requests in a salon, which means these topics remain firmly within cosmetology curricula in most states.

Hair Coloring and Chemical Treatments

Bleach and hair color require a precise hand at measuring and mixing exactly what you need to deliver the results your client wants. 

You’ll learn how to prepare these colors and treatments, including straighteners, moisturizers, and more, and move onto safely using them on your clients.

Mixing hair color is an art, especially if your client wants something really special, so you’ll learn the foundations of that in cosmetology school. Practicing during student salon hours or on friends or family members willing to let you try out your new skills will help you become better and better every day.

Skin Care and Make-Up

Most cosmetology schools include a unit on makeup application and skincare. Becoming a skilled hair and makeup artist will have clientele banging down your door, so pay close attention here. You’ll practice makeup techniques and skincare processes using professional-quality products on models you recruit.

Skincare is yet another area where biology creeps into the cosmetology realm; knowing how skin grows and repairs and how to help resolve basic skin issues requires some knowledge of cell development and function.

Manicures and Pedicures

Become a triple-threat when you learn all about nail technology. Performing a manicure and pedicure requires special skills, but also an attention to detail. In beauty school, you’ll memorize every step in the nail care process and practice polishing clients’ nails to perfection.

Building a Business

Hair stylists and other beauty professionals need to have a brain for business. It’s rare that a newly-minted cosmetologist graduates from school and gets a job in a salon that comes with a huge portfolio of clients. Marketing, finances, law, and more go into keeping you working as a cosmetologist. The best beauty schools will include an in-depth business program, perhaps one that goes above and beyond state requirements, to set up their students for success. 

Get Schooled!

The best way to learn more about the beauty schools in your area is to search “cosmetology school near me” on your favorite search engine. This simple search will show you what other students think about the school, how it prepares its graduates, and everything you need to know about attending.

Visit your options in person to get a feel for which one would best suit you. Once you’ve enrolled, you’re well on your way to becoming an important part of a lot of peoples’ lives: a cosmetologist. 

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