It can be noted that the desire to improve personal appearance is not a recent vogue in U.S. culture. Neolithic cave drawings, writers of ancient times, and historical excavations depict the interest of the people in hairstyle and in oils, perfumes, and other articles that would aid beauty grooming. Egyptian women 8,000 years ago, especially those of wealth and nobility, demanded great care of their hair and used cosmetic aids. People of royalty in the Middle Ages had servants who styled and cared for their hair. Portraits and painting from Colonial American days recall the high-fashion hair designs and colored powdered wigs worn by men and women alike. Until about seventy years ago, the services of the beautician were performed in customers’ homes. The beauty salons or shops now known to the U.S. public have emerged as public businesses only in relatively recent years. Today, beauty shops which offer jobs in customer service are prevalent everywhere and their services are available to almost everyone. The public now regards the services of beauty shops as more than a luxury. Psychologically, the services are viewed as important to personal morale, feelings of confidence, and to a person’s general well-being. In the United States, beauty shops number among the largest of the personal service industries.
In their customer service careers, cosmetologists perform personal services for customers that may include hairstyling, cutting, trimming, straightening, permanent waving, trimming, straightening, permanent waving, coloring, tinting, bleaching, and shampooing. A cosmetologist may also give facials, massages, manicures, pedicures, and scalp treatments, and may share and tint eyelashes and eyebrows. They sometimes do makeup analysis; suggest cosmetic aids, and advice customers regarding what products to sue and how to sue them with the greatest benefits. Many specialize as hairstylists. Today, numbers of cosmetologists called wig dressers are trained in the styling and care of wigs. Through advanced training, cosmetologists may specialize in some aspect of their work, such as permanent waving, cutting hair, or setting only the more difficult high-fashion hairstyles. In small shops, the job duties may include making appointments for customers, cleaning equipment, sterilizing instruments, and keeping a pleasing décor in the shop.
As part of their customer service job, cosmetologists use certain tools and equipment in their work, cosmetic aids, massage, and manicure equipment, hair dryers, towels, and reclining chairs. Most of the equipment and tools are provided by the shop owners. The work of barbers and that of cosmetologists are closely associated, and both barbers and cosmetologists perform their services in the same type of surroundings, although beauty shops may be more attractively decorated to appeal to the female clientele. Cosmetologists are employed in privately owned shops throughout the country, many of them small businesses. They may also be employed in beauty shops in large city department stores, drugstores, hospitals, and hotels. Cosmetologists may be employed to demonstrate hairstyles in various stores, fashion centers, photographic centers, and in television studios. Still others, with advanced training, may qualify to teach in beauty culture colleges and vocational training schools. In some shops, manicurists tend to customers’ nails, filing and polishing them, and tending the cuticles. Cosmetologists work in close personal contact with the public. They may have customers at any age level and some specialize in children’s haircuts for instance.
To become more effective in their customer service employment, cosmetologists serving the public must be pleasant, friendly, yet professional workers with gentle attitudes, as well as the quality of skills, abilities and interest of the work if they are to build a good foundation of followers as stable clienteles. The nature of work demands that cosmetologists be aware of the psychological aspects of dealing with all types of customers. Applicants who anticipate that they may desire to teach beauty culture at some future time will need at least a high-school education and quite likely, a college training studies. The majority of private schools offer training programs of certain number of hours and months. In some states, however, courses require a longer completion of training. Public vocational school programs may cover a span of two or three years equal to the last 3 years of high school because academic subjects are also part of the curriculum. The work of the cosmetologist is that of offering to the public skilled professional services. A pleasant personality and a genuine liking for people are extremely important to the success of this job.
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