Cosmetology is the study or art of cosmetics and their use, it is also the art or practice of the beautification of the skin, hair, or nails. Cosmetologists are also called beauty operators, hairdressers, or beauticians. Most cosmetologists work in beauty salons, and many have their own businesses. Some work in unisex shops, barbershops, department stores, hospitals, spas, resorts, and hotels. Cosmetologists work with many types of beauty products and often sell them at their salons as well.
Many cosmetologists work chiefly with hair. They cut, shampoo, condition, style, color, permanent wave, or straighten it. They use a variety of chemical solutions, such as bleaches and dyes. They use equipment such as scissors, clippers, curlers, straightening irons, and dryers to give their customers fashionable hairstyles. Some cosmetologists care for wigs and hairpieces and in some cases sell them. Often cosmetologists specialize in one procedure, such as hair cutting or coloring.
Cosmetologists also care for the skin and nails. They give scalp treatments, massages, and facials. They use a variety of special creams and lotions. They also shape eyebrows and remove unwanted hair from the face. They give demonstrations and advice on the use of makeup. Cosmetologists who care for the nails, often called manicurists, soften and trim the cuticles. They shape the nails with files or emery boards and apply nail polish.
Cosmetologists must keep their work area and equipment clean. They may have other duties such as answering the telephone or making appointments. They often recommend and sell a variety of grooming products, such as cosmetics or hairbrushes. Sometimes they take care of the day-to-day concerns involved in running a small business. For example, they may supervise other workers, order supplies, and keep records.
General cosmetology courses in the United States focus primarily on hairstyling, but also train their students as general beauticians versed in manicures,...