Are you looking to become a beauty industry professional? Do you want to make your clients look amazing with luscious eyelash extensions? If you’re considering your education options, this article is for you!
Our Professional Lash and Brow Artists’ Industry Survey 2016 results show us that 74% of those who responded are licensed beauty industry professionals. 25% are Cosmetologists, 41% are Estheticians and 8% hold both qualifications. 26% of those who responded were not licensed.
There are certain areas that do not require any formal licensing to perform lash extension services. Our friends in Canada do not need to be licensed, and other countries around the globe have similar rules. In the U.S. most states require some sort of licensing and in order to obtain a license you must first get an education. You might be wondering what type of education you should pursue. On that note, let’s explore two types of beauty education – cosmetology and esthetics.
A Career in Cosmetology
Maybe you are trying to decide how much time to invest in your education and don’t know where to start. As someone who has been to cosmetology school I have a few insights to share. So let’s dig into this and figure out if a cosmetology career is the right fit for you.
When making the decision about my own beauty education, it was an easy choice. I was always interested in hair but I also had a fascination with makeup, lashes, brows, nails and basically everything beauty. I wanted to be able to perform any service under the beauty umbrella, so I signed up for a course in cosmetology.
Once you complete your cosmetology course, you have so many options. You can move freely between services as needed. It’s a one stop for your clients if you are able to do everything. But you can also pick and choose the areas you enjoy the most and leave out those you don’t. Working as a qualified beauty professional, it wasn’t long before I discovered a few things that didn’t exactly thrill me – mainly waxing. The messiness of waxing wasn’t for me and I found myself limiting my waxing services to the neck up. This cut back the amount of waxing I had to do on any given day.
Eyebrow services are another area that you might like to specialise in as a cosmetologist. I truly envy those salon professionals who are so meticulous at planning, strategizing and creating that flawless face framing brow. Brows require precision, perfect balance and a keen eye for the exact shape.
Whilst brows rely on technique, nails call for a little more creativity. I was surprised by my attraction to nails and really dove in full steam. Doing the same haircuts and color over and over got a bit boring for me so I became involved in the nail side of the business. I quickly realised just how much clients were into their fortnightly manicure. I had a lot of fun and particularly enjoyed the ease of the service. Unlike hair, if you mess up a nail you can just start over, which means you get to skip all the tears and trauma.
After several years of hair and nails, I became involved in skincare. Again I was surprised by how much I loved performing facials, body treatments and all things skin related. I even completed a Cosmetology Instructors Program and became a cosmetology instructor in Arizona. Now, going that far may not be for you, but I am all about education. As a cosmetologist I’ve been able to experience all that the salon industry has to offer.
Specialising in Esthetics
If hair and nails aren’t your thing, then you may find you prefer the slower pace of esthetics. It is more of a warm and nurturing experience. Whilst we can inflict a little discomfort when applying intensive skin treatments, on the whole, the aim is to get our clients as relaxed as possible before they are steamed, creamed and massaged all the way to heaven.
Esthetics is a much shorter program, with very specific protocols and treatments. Estheticians in most localities are restricted to the following; the removal of hair, by waxing or tweezing; performing facial services, with or without the use of machines; makeup and eyelash extension services. Some states also have a license just for lash artists, which may be a good fit for those who are not interested in any other aspect of the beauty industry.
If you love using machines, like galvanic current, micro-current, microdermabrasion and ultrasonic or any other equipment, then esthetics is certainly the area of specialisation for you. In Cosmetology, you spend a very brief time on these subjects but not enough to become proficient. So, if you have no interest in hair and nails and prefer skincare, then the shorter esthetics course is absolutely the way to go.
Making the Right Choice
However, you must be certain that esthetics is for you because it is hard to drop everything and go back to school if you change your mind later on. Unfortunately, most states will not give you any credit for the schooling you did in esthetics to go toward a full cosmetology license. Those hours will be lost. A full cosmetology course does take almost double the hours to start with, but you will never have to retrain to perform these services.
Under the Cosmetology umbrella you are already licensed to perform all services. You can always take additional training (like the Gladlash Training Academy) to upgrade your skills and even if you have to practice this skill for a time before you become proficient, you won’t have to spend 600-800 hours going back for a different license.
In all courses, you will learn about diseases and disorders of the hair and skin. Nails will be covered in manicuring or cosmetology. You will learn about bacteriology, sanitation and sterilization as well as chemicals and chemical compounds and how to use them safely. Many people don’t realize the extensive training beauticians undergo to keep the community safe from disease and cross contamination.
Cosmetology Vs Esthetics
So, before you decide which way to go, ask yourself a few questions.
- How serious are you? 1200 to 2000 hours of serious for Cosmetology? 600-800 for Esthetics?
- What is your interest level in hair, nails and skin care?
- Is there any service that you just won’t want to do? Like I said, waxing is not my forte but other people shudder at the idea of giving a pedicure. The smell of a perm solution can be off putting for some.
You should take your time and check out a few reputable schools by observing the classes, educators and curriculum for a few hours before you commit. Be an informed consumer before you choose a program.
Once you’ve decided, make sure you jump in and do it. Beauty changes lives – for customers and industry professionals alike.