Cosmetology classes provide career training in a wide range of marketable beauty industry skills. Although specific training modules vary from school to school, most cosmetology programs provide instruction and practice in hairdressing — which usually includes haircutting, chemical waving and hair straightening, coloring, bleaching, hair styling and texturing — facials, eyebrow creation, makeup design and application, and skin care. Most cosmetology programs also teach on-the-job safety procedures and strategies for career development. Most cosmetology classes emphasize hands-on skill building using both mannequins and live subjects. Make sure state-licensing preparation is available.
Barber classes and programs focus on the skills needed to cut hair for men, as well as provide professional shaves and other male grooming services. At most barber schools, students learn to use both manual and machine cutting tools for styling men’s hair and beards. Students also learn men’s hair coloring, steam facials and facial massages. Most barber schools teach hands-on using both mannequins and live guests. Practicing barbers need to be licensed, so make sure state licensing preparation is part of your selected barber school program.
Although “esthetics” means “the study of beauty,” in the beauty industry it refers specifically to skin care. At some beauty schools, esthetics is part of a larger cosmetology program, where as other schools offer esthetics as an independent field of training. In an esthetics program, you will typically learn how to analyze skin types, perform facials and microdermabrasion, facial hair waxing, do extractions and exfoliations, and give facial massages. Some esthetics classes can lead to careers in the health care field, with graduates going on to work with dermatologists or in hospital burn centers.
Since the days of the ancient Greek, make-up artists have played an essential role in the entertainment industry. Today, professional make-up artists work in the worlds of live theater, movies, television, broadcast news, modeling and high fashion. At a make-up artist training school, you will learn the principles of make-up and the tools of the trade. You will learn about the use of color, shadow and texture to achieve effects ranging from natural to highly stylized. Some schools emphasize skills needed for stage and entertainment industry make-up, while others focus on make-up skills for the fashion industry.
Most cosmetology programs offer nail technology as one of many skillsets. However, studying to be a nail technician can be a pursuit all to itself. Nail technology classes provide “hands-on” instruction in giving manicures and pedicures as well as nail art and design, and the use of gels, acrylics, wraps, extensions and more. Like most beauty industry professionals, nail technologists need to be licensed by the state in which they work, so make sure state license exam preparation is part of any nail technology program you choose.
Hair design classes offer instruction and training in the skills necessary to cut, color and style hair for a mostly female clientele. At most hair design schools, you will learn how to use a variety of instruments, both manual and automatic, as well as haircutting techniques for fashioning contemporary hairstyles for a range of ages and facial types. Hair coloring, bleaching, curling and straightening are also common subjects talk in hair design classes. Again, make sure state-licensing preparation is part of your hair design school’s curriculum.
Salon management classes focus on the providing the knowledge and skills you need to run a successful beauty salon. Salon management programs normally include instruction in personnel management, customer care, leadership, business operations, money management, marketing and advertising. Unlike most beauty industry career training programs that require lots of hands-on practice to complete, salon management courses often are available online. Also, unlike the other career specialties described above, salon management does not require state licensing.