How Do I Get Started in Cosmetology?

Smiling cosmetologists holding tools necessary to getting their career started

Interested in cosmetology but don’t know how to get started? The first decision you will need to make on your journey to becoming a successful cosmetologist is choosing a field to work in. Then you will want to get an education. Next you will fuel your creativity. Lastly, it is time to begin and expand your cosmetology career. Reading through this evolution will help you understand if you are ready to start down the path to becoming a cosmetologist.

What are the Different Areas of Cosmetology?

The word “cosmetology” covers several different areas of the aesthetic and beautification industry. They include hair, makeup and nail care. Let’s take a look at the main areas of cosmetology that might inspire you.

Hair

Hairstyling is a field with a lot of diverse opportunities. Typically, hairstyling careers are thought of as strictly cut and color in salons. These careers are popular options for stylists (particularly in the early stages of their careers), but they are far from the only opportunities in the haircare and styling industry. Wigs, weaves, artistic styling for photo and video projects, braids, extreme/unique coloration and fade design cuts are just some of the many specializations you have to choose from to take your haircare career to the next level.

Makeup

Makeup artistry is a way to transform, enhance, conceal, and express oneself. It can be easy to immediately think of salon and retail when considering a career in makeup. Special event makeup for celebrations, ceremonies, and retail demonstrations is a prolific part of the beauty industry. However, you may also want to consider a career in effects makeup, online makeup application tutorials, celebrity makeup artistry, and set makeup for television networks and various public figures.

Nail Care

Manicures and pedicures are an important part of cosmetology that are continuing to grow in popularity. Specialty nail design techniques and unique materials make this area of cosmetology one of the most creative. The design and decoration choices are infinite. You could help clients grow and accentuate their natural nails with conditioning treatments and supplement recommendations. Also, you could help clients with artificial nails. All in all, the decoration choices available give you many options to make your clients happy.

Production/Endorsement

A component of cosmetology that doesn’t often get professional recognition is the production and endorsement side of the industry. Product development and endorsement is an important and integral part of the beauty industry. This includes developing new techniques, formulating new products, discovering new tools, and finally, helping support and represent brands you believe in.

Get an Education

Once you have chosen the field you are most interested in pursuing, it is time to train. You will need formal training with qualified educators in order to have a long-lasting, successful career in cosmetology. While you train to become a cosmetologist, you will want to assess your individual needs, set realistic goals, decide on a program that is right for you and stay committed.

Assess Your Individual Needs

Everyone’s lives and abilities are different. You should take a moment and assess your individual needs. What is your schedule like? Can things be moved around to support your education? What are the current demands of your life? What is your financial situation? These are all questions you will need to answer before committing to a program.

Set Realistic Goals

Setting goals is a great way to motivate yourself and help guide your career decisions. However, it is important that you are realistic about your goals. This will help you avoid discouragement and disappointment. For example, doing celebrity makeup right out of cosmetology school isn’t likely to happen. So, you may want to gain some experience in a formal salon setting and branch out on a couple of special projects before getting into celebrity makeup artistry. It all begins with choosing the right program to facilitate your personal goals.

Decide on a Program That is Right for You

This decision will depend on your schedule and goals. While certain areas of cosmetology are more academically demanding than others, you may be relieved to know that you can become fully trained and certified quickly. Most programs can be completed in less than 10 months. You just need to find the program that fits your needs, schedule, and life.

Stay Committed

Perseverance is the key to success. As much as we may want to, we can’t control everything in our lives. The unexpected can derail even the best laid plans. It is important that you stay committed to your education, even in the face of uncertainty. It may not always be simple or easy, but you are worth the effort and you deserve the success.

Fuel Your Creativity

Technical knowledge, methodical preparation, and skill mastery are all crucial to building a solid foundation and a good reputation, but there is more to cosmetology than just the combs and brushes. Every field of cosmetology is about beauty, creativity, expression, and transformation. This is the part of your career that will need to be nurtured. When you feel the passion and creativity beginning to fade, you can connect with a cosmetology community, experiment, innovate, revisit the basics, try something new and create content to regain the passion.

Connect with a Cosmetic Community

Enthusiasm can be infectious. Especially when you find a group of people who share your passion. If you are new to cosmetology or are just beginning your industry exploration, a great place to start is online communities. There are passionate professionals on social media and various content platforms. In addition, you can connect to people around the world and jumpstart your creativity. If you are having trouble finding the right community for your specific needs, try starting something brand new.

Experiment and Innovate

Are there techniques you have difficulty with? Do you find yourself wishing for products that don’t exist yet? Is there a tool or process you feel needs improvement? Chances are you aren’t alone. Problems occur in the beauty industry that need solutions. Rather than waiting around for other people to come up with the solution, you can harness your creativity and come up with new methods and products to fill these industry gaps. After all, experimentation and innovation help the beauty industry to evolve and can be the catalysts for inspiration and continued creative expression.

Revisit the Basics

There will likely be times during your education and throughout your career that you encounter obstacles. These difficulties can discourage you. To push through, try getting back to basics. Revisit the parts of the industry that interested you in the first place. Then, refamiliarize yourself with the fundamentals to help you branch off in a new creative direction.

Try Something New

Boredom can be an obstacle on the road to inspiration. If you feel stuck, you should consider trying new things and learning new skills. For example, are you a hair stylist who usually specializes in haircuts? Try branching out into coloring or styling. Likewise, are you a makeup artist who usually attends events and makeup demonstrations? Give some extreme effect techniques a try. Also, getting out of your comfort zone can help ignite your career passion.

Create Content

Sharing your excitement is a great way to fuel it. Displaying your creativity for others to see might initially feel intimidating, particularly if you aren’t extroverted. Also, putting your work out into the world can lead to judgement, but it can also lead to support and recognition. You could curate an informative blog, begin a photographic portfolio, or create video tutorials. In the age of digital and online marketing, creating cosmetology content can help support your personal creativity while getting your name out in the industry.

Begin and Expand Your Cosmetology Career

Once a solid foundation has been laid through passion, creativity, and education, it is time to build your career. Considering your goals will help you create a plan for your professional life, but there is more to it than planning. Let’s take a look at some of the other things you will need to do to help secure your long-term career success.

Do Your Research

Firstly, it is important that you stay informed if you want an established, respectable cosmetology career. Interested in a position at an established spa or salon? Consider looking into their history and general reputation. Look at online reviews or speak with people who have worked there before. This can help you find a reputable establishment that fits your personal standards. The same goes for the products and tools you recommend to clients. Secondly, make sure to do research about the brand, and the ingredients and materials used to create the products and tools you use. No one expects you to know everything about every single tool, product, and brand available. However, you should be informed enough to answer basic questions and avoid client injury.

Gain Experience

It is okay if your career ends up somewhere completely different than where it started. In fact, there are many careers that require a certain amount of outside experience before you will even be considered. This professional experience can come from job opportunities, continued education, apprenticeships, and competitions. Consider new tasks as an opportunity to grow and try to think of challenges as steps toward your ultimate career goals. Thus, the more experience you have the more confident you will be in your skills. This will allow you to seize more opportunities. Your experiences in the industry can also help you build a name for yourself and elevate your recognition in the industry.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, modern technology has created new career opportunities that provide varying levels of earning potential and scheduling flexibility. Are you someone concentrating on gaining experience while avoiding marketing and promotion? You may want to start by teaming up with an established salon or spa. Do you need a more flexible schedule? Think about running your own company through a website and taking appointments with clients in their homes. Everyone defines personal and professional success a little bit differently. Make sure you are working toward your own definition of success when making decisions about your cosmetology career.

Did learning about how to get started in cosmetology interest you? Need to get your undergraduate certificate in cosmetology? At Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we are dedicated to helping our Cosmetology program students develop a solid foundation and a flair for style through hands-on training in basic and advanced industry techniques. You will learn how to cut, color and style hair, give manicures and pedicures, provide spa treatments and perform various skin care techniques from industry-experienced instructors in a professional salon setting. We keep our class sizes small to make sure you get the individualized instruction you need and attention you deserve. You will graduate with everything you need to be a versatile artist in an exciting industry, including a cosmetology diploma from a respected college.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a hairstylist and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

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