Cosmetology: A Career Path To Beauty

Image Credits: SarvGyan

Everyone today wants to look better than the other. Monthly visits to the salon are therefore never enough as it takes a different kind of professional to primp and curl to perfection – a cosmetologist. Devika Soni takes a closer look at this business of looking good

A fashion designer is to fashion what a cosmetologist is to hair and beauty. Deciders of trends, initiators of all things glamorous and professionals with a knack for transforming simple to fabulous, a cosmetologist today is of utmost importance. Cosmetology is an umbrella term that encompasses within its reach hairstyling, skin and beauty treatments, nail technicians and various other outlets. With people’s constant need to look glamorous, careers in cosmetology are the need of the hour.

What is Cosmetology?

Cosmetology deals with the study and application of hair and beauty treatments and techniques that better the appearance of a person. Today, people are extremely conscious about the well-being of their skin and the health of their hair. Pollution and demanding professional and personal lives command intensive care of hair and body, which is where a cosmetologist steps in. Cosmetologists look after the skin and beauty professionals. They are broadly classified into two categories: medical (dermatologists) and non-medical professionals. Their jobs are essentially the same but differ in the kind of treatment they use, their techniques and area of expertise.


There are tons of specialisations in cosmetology. The most common and well known are:

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  • Hairstyling: Hair has become just as important as the right outfit. It frames a person’s face and gives a sense of confidence. A specialisation in hair styling will require you to deal with hair cutting, shampooing, colouring, wig styling, perking, straightening, bonding, restorative treatment, etc. You will also be required to know about hair care for different types of hair while also ensuring good health and the right look of clients’ hair.
  • Aesthetics: Aestheticians deal with skin treatment. They specialise in facials, massages, waxing, peeling, aromatherapy, spa treatments, makeup, etc. An aesthetician must also know about skin types and should be able to suggest skincare products that suit them the best. With the required qualifications you can even work in a hospital and help patients look after their skin post-surgery.
  • Nail technician: Clean hands, legs and nails are an important aspect of beauty and an even more important aspect of hygiene. Nail technicians beautify hands and feet. By specialising in this field you can work with nail painting, designing, henna, etc.
  • Electrolysis: Electrologists help rid of the pain of hair removal permanently by using a treatment called electrolysis. The advanced and more popular version is hair removal by radiations or laser treatment.


Non-medical cosmetology does not require a specific degree or qualification. A desire and yearning to learn are all that is required. Once a person is certain about the area they’d like to know more about, getting a specialisation in that area would be ideal, for example in henna, skincare, tattoos, hair styling, makeup, etc. For dermatology or medical cosmetology, there is a basic requirement of an MBBS and a postgraduate degree in dermatology. To add on to a person’s knowledge, certificate, diploma and advanced diploma courses can be taken.

The money

The primary factor of your income would be the size and reputation of your business or employer. You can start with anything from Rs. 3000 to Rs. 10,000 a month. Makeup artists and hairstylists charge anywhere from Rs. 5, 000 to Rs. 7, 000 and above depending on skill, expertise and experience. A privately owned business often tends to increase the influx of money. However, it is advisable to gain significant experience before starting out on your own.

The scope of cosmetology

Cosmetology is the need of the hour. Beauty and skincare chains in India like Kaya Skin Clinic are constantly in need of cosmetologists to keep their heavy flow of clients happy and satisfied. There are several industries in India that directly depend on cosmetology – the film industry, television, advertising, fashion, wedding industry, etc. Cosmetologists are therefore indispensable to an extent.

Perks and challenges

Creative freedom, a fun yet challenging work environment and the opportunity to meet and interact with new people almost every day are some perks. Freelance cosmetologists additionally have the liberty to choose the kind of work and money they wish to bring in with the assignments they pick. A job in cosmetology is nothing like a 9-5 job; often the working hours extend beyond 12-14 hours thus making it physically and mentally demanding. In terms of salary, it takes a person a significant number of years to become established in the industry and to be taken seriously.

Career Facts

Job Profile:
A cosmetologist provides beauty, skin, hair treatments and overall health care. It is a broad area that encompasses hairstyling, makeup artistry, nail technics, aesthetics, massages and more.

The remuneration of a cosmetologist largely depends on the employer. Those who start at beauty parlours and salons receive between Rs. 3,000 and Rs. 10, 000. However, the pay differs as per a person’s experience, skill and employer.

Skill Set:
It is important for a cosmetologist to have skill and expertise in the area that they have an inclination towards. A cosmetologist also needs to be creative and imaginative in order to cater to the wants of their clientele.

Study at:

  • Lakme Training Academy
  • Nalini and Yasmin Academy
  • Shahnaz Husain’s Women’s World International
  • Habib’s Hair Academy


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