As you consider cosmetology school, you should realize that you won't just be learning about dying hair and painting nails. Pampering your clients is a big part of your education, but it extend far beyond beauty products. As a cosmetologist, you will learn about skin and hair conditions and the way the chemicals in products react to them. You must be able to identify skin ailments so you don't irritate them further. Below are a few conditions you need to know about before you can practice.
Common Hair and Scalp Problems
In addition to studying cosmetology, you will study trichology in cosmetic school, which is "the science of the structure, function and diseases of the human hair." You will not be expected to diagnose diseases, but you will need to be aware enough of hair and scalp disorders that you can avoid disastrous cosmetic results. In the realm of trichology, you will study:
- Dry Scalp: Dry scalp can be caused by a number of reasons, ranging from excess dandruff to a skin condition that is manifest on the scalp. As a cosmetologist, you will learn how the chemicals used in dyes and other hair products might cause dry scalp to worsen. You will understand which products to avoid so you don't give your clients rashes or cause an allergic reaction.
- Balding Hair: For some people, balding is genetic and, consequentially, unavoidable. However, excess bleaching and coloring can accelerate the balding process. As a hairdresser in training, you will study the negative effects of certain chemicals on balding hair. You will likely learn which products will promote fuller, healthier hair, as well. So although you can't prescribe medication for balding, you can suggest certain products that can be purchased over-the-counter which will help maintain the hair.
- Ruined Texture: Everyone knows that extensive drying and ironing of hair can "fry" it. Similarly, regularly changing hair color can cause hair to lose its texture, as well. As a cosmetologist, you are responsible for recommending the time length between cutting and dying hair. Understanding trichology will help you determine which clients should go longer between appointments, and which can be seen more frequently.
Common Skin Conditions of the Face, Hands, and Feet
Cosmetology isn't just about coloring and styling hair. It is also about massages, facials, manicures, and pedicures. Understanding skin ailments can prevent embarrassing – and painful – cosmetology results for your clients. Some of your courses in cosmetology school may leave you feeling more like a potential dermatologist than a budding cosmetologist. These are some skin conditions you might encounter when practicing:
- Cutaneous Lupus: This disorder is manifest as small, scaly rashes. They are typically found on the face, but could be seen in other parts of the body. While they aren't itchy, applying certain creams or massaging them could further damage the skin cells. Your studies will include learning which skin creams will help with rashes and which will provoke rashes.
- Acne: Learning how to give a good facial isn't just about rubbing cleansers in clockwise or counter-clockwise. It includes ways to treat acne and remove blackheads. You will also study its causes so you can give more effective advice on treating it.
- Psoriasis: Found on hands and feet, this skin disorder causes scales, itchiness, and swelling. Massages during manicures and pedicures could help ease pain and swelling, but only if done properly. Your studies will include massage techniques that can help relieve symptoms of psoriasis and similar skin ailments. You can also learn more by attending a massage school.
As a student at cosmetology school, you will receive a broad education. Your vocation isn't only about pampering and primping – it's about preventing and identifying. Your education will include some trichology and dermatology, in addition to cosmetology.