Cosmetology Career Information

Barbers and cosmetologists focus on providing hair care services to enhance the appearance of customers. Other personal appearance workers, such as manicurists and pedicurists, shampooers, and skin care specialists, provide specialized beauty services that help clients look and feel their best.

Barbers cut, trim, shampoo, and style hair mostly for male clients. They also may fit hairpieces and offer scalp treatments and facial shaving. In many States, barbers are licensed to color, bleach, and highlight hair, and to offer permanent-wave services. Barbers also may provide skin care and nail treatments.

Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists offer a wide range of beauty services, such as shampooing, cutting, coloring, and styling of hair. They may advise clients on how to care for their hair at home. In addition, cosmetologists may be trained to give manicures, pedicures, and scalp and facial treatments; provide makeup analysis; and clean and style wigs and hairpieces.

A number of workers offer specialized services. Manicurists and pedicurists, called nail technicians in some States, work exclusively on nails and provide manicures, pedicures, polishing, and nail extensions to clients. Another group of specialists is skin care specialists, or estheticians, who cleanse and beautify the skin by giving facials, full-body treatments, and head and neck massages, as well as apply makeup. They also may remove hair through waxing or, if properly trained, with laser treatments.

Finally, in larger salons, shampooers specialize in shampooing and conditioning hair.

In addition to working with clients, personal appearance workers may keep records of hair color or skin care regimens used by their regular clients. A growing number actively sell hair, skin, and nail care products. Barbers, cosmetologists, and other personal appearance workers who operate their own salons have managerial duties that may include hiring, supervising, and firing workers, as well as keeping business and inventory records, ordering supplies, and arranging for advertising.

Work environment. Many full-time barbers, cosmetologists, and other personal appearance workers put in a 40-hour week, but longer hours are common, especially among self-employed workers. Work schedules may include evenings and weekends, the times when beauty salons and barbershops are busiest. Many workers, especially those who are self-employed, determine their own schedules. In 2008, about 29 percent of barbers, hairstylists and cosmetologists worked part time, and 14 percent had variable schedules.

Barbers, cosmetologists, and other personal appearance workers usually work in clean, pleasant surroundings with good lighting and ventilation. Most work in a salon or barbershop, although some may work in a spa, hotel, or resort. Good health and stamina are important, because these workers are on their feet for most of their shift.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition


  1. Caitlin knox says

    I love cosmetology it is soo awsome i have always wanted to become o hairdresser it is soooo neat ily austin jason smith

  2. Asia France says

    I have always loved doing other people’s hair. I find it fasinating how hair has changed over time. As clothing styles change, so does hair styles. I admire how people interchange their hair styles to correspond with their outfits.

    • Destinee Hester says

      omg me too its so cool too see how many things people can do to there hair…….especially african american hair

  3. I love styling hair, omg!! I admire how people interchange their hairstyles to correspond wit their makeup ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo <3 I LOVE HAIR!!
    Sochelle Conchita Marin

  4. Cheyenne says

    I love all of this

  5. Aubreanna McQuade says

    I love Cosmetology! I am 13 and cannot wait to be a hairstylist! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for the advice!

  6. I actualy might go to a program for high school that is all about cosmetology. We get to learn everything by doing hands on activities ๐Ÿ˜›

  7. hair is my future carrer poopy ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. omggg. cooool.


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