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What degree do I need to be a cosmetologist?

Cosmetology is the art and skill of creating pleasing physical appearances for clients. Most cosmetologists will have a specialty in their field. Many work on styling, coloring and cutting hair. Others work to create beautiful healthy nails. While others work in skin care or other aspects of beauty.

Skills of a Cosmetologist

A trained cosmetologist can do much more than just cut hair. They are trained in creating complete styles and often inspire new trends in hair, nails and makeup. These are people who enjoy all aspects of fashion and enjoy working with clients to create a shared vision. A trained professional will be able to style and handle all kinds of hair. They will be able to color with minimal damage, set waves, curls and straighten their clients natural locks. Specialists will be able to install weaves and extensions and create braided styles on all hair types. Estheticians, a specialization, will be able to offer skin care. Services such as facials, body wraps and extractions are common procedures. Other specialists offer massage therapies and nail care.

As important as providing a beautiful finish, is maintaining a clean workstation. Every state has particular procedures to ensure that the tools and workstation are clean and fresh for each client. Other skills include consultation with clients about their hair and nail work for the best beauty services possible. A good cosmetologist will be outgoing and friendly, creative and with excellent time management skills.

Getting a Cosmetologist Degree

In all fifty states a prospective beautician will require an education from a state-licensed cosmetology school or barber school. Most states also require your high school diploma or the equivalent. A full time course generally lasts nine months and results in an associates degree. Afterward, there is a state test that must be passed before a license will be granted. Those who wish to become a specialist in some fields will need advanced training. Many states will have separate tests for manicurists and skin care specialists, for example.


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