Hair. Skin. Nails. It sounds simple, doesn’t it?
But as we all know, these parts of our bodies require significant care. That care translates into a variety of careers in the field of cosmetology. If you are considering a cosmetology career, you eventually may specialize and become a hairstylist, esthetician, or manicurist/pedicurist, also known as a nail technician.
You know you will have to attend a trade school or community college program. But what kind of courses do these programs include? What will you be learning in order to become a professional?
Below is a list of likely classes offered in cosmetology schools and programs. The list may vary some from state to state, and, to some degree, from school to school. There also will be beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels within these programs.
To begin with, there are some practical courses that apply to all three specialties. They may include:
- training in tools and how to use them
- chemical use and safety
- skin diseases and conditions
Business-related courses may include:
- salon management
- marketing and merchandising
- state and local laws and rules
- business and professional ethics
- interpersonal communication
Also, no matter what cosmetology school or community college program you attend, you will learn about sanitation, public health and safety, disinfection, and perhaps even about such diseases as HIV and hepatitis.
It’s important to keep in mind that whatever your location, you will be learning your own state’s regulations and what requirements you must fulfill to earn your cosmetology license.
Beyond these more general courses, here are some classes you are virtually certain to encounter in each of the three main areas of hair, nails, and skin.
Cosmetology Courses You’ll Take On Hair
A hairstylist is so much more than someone who simply cuts your hair. Today, hairstylists perform a wide array of services related to shampooing, cutting, coloring, and styling hair. This includes services related to scalp care and wig dressing, and more.
Haircare and hairstyling courses will first address basic areas, such as:
- hair and scalp care and conditioning
- types of hair
- hair cutting, thinning, shaping, trimming, curling
- shampooing, toning, and rinsing
- hair coloring, tinting, and bleaching
- hair removal
- chemical treatments
Cosmetology Courses You’ll Take For Nails
From fingertips to toes, nail technicians tend to everything you can imagine. They offer a wide variety of services, from shaping fingernails and toenails and removing blemishes or other rough skin, to nail sculpture and design, hand and foot massage, acrylics, and nail tips and nail wraps, among other services.
Some general courses for prospective nail technicians address:
- nail disorders and diseases
- nail structure and growth
Remaining courses take the student from the beginning stages to a professional level. They can include:
- basic manicures – nail shaping and polishing
- basic pedicures – nail shaping and polishing
- nail extensions
- calf and foot massage
- tips, forms, wraps, gels
- cuticle care
Cosmetology Courses You’ll Take On Skin
An esthetician is a professional in certain types of skin care—mainly those not usually performed by doctors or dermatologist. Acne treatment is one exception. So, estheticians offer various treatments on skin mainly for beautification purposes rather than medical ones.
These services include:
- chemical peels
- body masks, wraps, and scrubs
- waxing and hair removal
- makeup application
- anti-aging treatments via laser therapy
- brow shaping
Most courses you must take to earn your esthetician’s license are named after the services listed here. Other general courses include:
- anatomy and physiology
- business practices/salon management
- career development
As you can see, these three careers are exciting, challenging, and enjoyable. They offer variety, satisfaction, and career development options, allowing you to advance into specialties as you become more and more experienced.