What Can I Expect to Learn in Beauty School?
Most beauty schools teach the fundamentals of cosmetology—enough to prepare you to pass state licensing exams. Beauty school is seen as a rite of passage by many cosmetologists—one that is both fun and challenging.
Many beauty schools set strict policies for attendance, dress code, and punctuality. They want their students prepared for a competitive job market. That means they demand more than just learning how to perform hair, skin, or nail procedures; they also demand personal discipline so that students will be early to work, clean their stations, and maintain high levels of professionalism long after they graduate.
In addition to classroom study, many beauty schools also have their own on-site salons where students can practice their skills on real clients (who pay discounted prices for the services).
The actual curriculum used by many cosmetology schools is the same as, or very similar to, what is found in Milady’s Standard Cosmetology textbooks. A full cosmetology program generally includes the following subjects:
- Basic life skills (such as setting goals and maintaining a positive attitude)
- Developing a professional image
- Communication skills
- Infection control (including how to prevent the spread of hepatitis, HIV, or other infectious viruses or bacteria in a salon)
- General anatomy and physiology
- Basics of chemistry and electricity
- Hair and scalp characteristics
- Principles of hair design (such as how to enhance a person’s look based on facial shape)
- Basic hair care (shampooing, rinsing, and conditioning)
- Basic haircutting (including core cuts)
- Hairstyling (including how to use the proper tools and techniques)
- Hair braiding and braid extensions
- Hair coloring
- Chemical hair texturing
- Wigs and other hair enhancements
- Properties of skin and nails (including how they grow)
- Skin diseases and disorders
- Hair removal (such as waxing and tweezing)
- Performing basic facials
- Nail diseases and disorders
- Performing manicures
- Performing pedicures
- Creating a resume and portfolio
- Preparing for job interviews
- Basic business skills
- Preparing for state licensure exams