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A cosmetologist is anyone performing manicures, hair cutting, styling, shampooing, makeup or other cosmetology services. Hairstylist, hairdresser, manicurist, pedicurist, and shampooer are job titles that all fall under the umbrella of cosmetology although licensing and training requirements are different for each. In order to work as a hairstylist or cosmetologist, one must be licensed by the state in which he or she wants to work. In order to become licensed one must have graduated from a state-licensed barber or cosmetology school and be at least 16 years old. Some states require graduation from high school while others require as little as an eighth grade education. Some states allow completion of an apprenticeship as a substitute for graduation from a school.

Those who apply for a license usually are required to pass a written test and demonstrate an ability to perform basic barbering or cosmetology services. As hairstylists and cosmetologists become more experienced and gain a following, they can expect their earnings to increase. Some manage salons or decide to open their own. Others become sales representatives or image consultants. Some decide to teach in barber and cosmetology schools.

On a typical day a cosmetologist might perform some of the following duties, depending on his or her specialization:

* Cuts, trims and shapes hair or hair pieces

* Bleaches, dyes, or tints hair

* Combs, brushes, and sprays hair or wigs to set style

* Attaches wig or hairpiece to model head and dresses wigs and hairpieces

* Massages and treats scalp for hygienic and remedial purposes

* Administers therapeutic medication and advises patron to seek medical treatment for chronic or contagious scalp conditions

* Recommends and applies cosmetics, lotions, and creams to patron to soften and lubricate skin and enhance and restore natural appearance

* Shapes and colors eyebrows or eyelashes and removes facial hair

* Cleans, shapes, and polishes fingernails and toenails

* Updates and maintains customer information records, such as beauty services provided.

Median Hourly Wages depend entirely on how many hours that person works, tips, commissions, etc.
I aspire to become a Cosmetologist when I grow up. Many people believe that people who do hair for a living are the laughing stock in the business world, but they are in for a shock when they find out that cosmetology is one of the most high in demand careers next to medical doctors and computer engineers.
by The Jamienator! September 02, 2009
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