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In cosmetology school, a hairstylist learns what they need to know to pass the state board exam to obtain a license. They learn to practice cosmetology services safely with proper sanitation methods.

Cosmetologists learn chemistry, which helps them understand how to avoid hair breakage or causing burns on the skin when they use chemicals such as color, relaxers, and perms. Chemistry also helps them understand product knowledge and what the end result will be once a chemical is applied and rinsed off of the hair. These are just some of the things cosmetologists learn in school.

There are also some things that hairstylist learn through experience once they leave school and work in a salon and these are the things that are not taught in all cosmetology schools.

Learning When to Say No

In school, cosmetologists are taught that the whole point of a consultation is to find out what service the client wants, but it is just as important for the stylist to tell the client if the service can be done based on the client’s hair type, lifestyle, and the overall health of the hair.

Cosmetologist need to be taught in school when to say no and that it is ok to tell a client that a particular service will not be beneficial and explain why. Yes, it is ok to want to make the customer happy, but as a licensed professional your number one goal should be to maintain the health and integrity of the client’s hair.

Time Management

Today, clients take fewer trips to the beauty salon and will learn how to do their own hair just to avoid waiting hours in the salon to get their hair done. If a stylist has a schedule that does not require you to make an appointment and to walk in, you can expect to wait. However, if you have a scheduled time to get your hair done, there is no reason you as the client should have to wait hours to be serviced.

Cosmetology schools should stress the importance of proper time management and the essentials of booking appointments that avoid long waits. It is a skill that is very helpful in maintaining loyal clients that will recommend friends and family and allow clients to know that their time is respected.

How to Address Hair Loss or Scalp Problems

In cosmetology school hair loss and scalp problems such as dandruff, ringworm, and seborrheic dermatitis are briefly addressed.

When cosmetologist start working in a salon some of them may be uncomfortable to start the conversation with a client concerning their scalp problem because they do not know what caused the condition and may not want to be blamed. 

If a hairstylist is trained to address these problems in school, it can help the client get the help she needs quickly or the hairstylist can simply direct her to a dermatologist or another doctor that can help. Learning trichology in beauty school can help hairstylists prevent further damage to the hair and scalp.

Are you a licensed cosmetologist? What do you wish you learned in school?

Writer Sophia Emmanuel is a licensed cosmetologist and certified IAT trichologist.