Beauty culture or cosmetology is becoming one of the major occupational avenues in India, as the world of fashion and glamour is growing manifold along with the rising incomes of the people and changing life styles. It is further boosted by the new scientific developments, techniques, products and media hype. So this sector is witnessing mega revenues and has a lot of commercial potential. People are becoming more and more fashion and fitness conscious and are laying more stress on personal grooming. So the cosmetology industry is becoming a multi billion-dollar industry in India and creating myriad employment opportunities for those who have a flair for this kind of job.
The science of beauty treatment or cosmetology deals with the care of skin, hair nails and all the makes us look attractive and well groomed.
The person who is an expert in cosmetology is known as a cosmetologist or a beautician or an aesthetician. "A cosmetologist is anyone performing manicures, hair cutting, styling, shampooing, makeup or other cosmetology services," according to The National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences.
Nature of Work
According to Shehnaz Hussain, "beauty involves aspects such as health and beauty of skin and hair, body, figure, diet and nutrition, hairstyling, make-up, salon services like hair removal, manicure, pedicure and massage, among others." So main areas of work include:
- Beauty therapy
- Hair dressing
- Fitness instruction
- SPA management
- Nature cure
- Beauty consultancy
The personal attributes that one needs in this filed are:
- Good communication skills
- Self confidence
- Ability to create a soothing and relaxing atmosphere for the clients
- Personal hygiene and cleanliness
- Ability to convince people
- Good sense of aesthetics
- Ability to keep abreast with latest trends and fashions
- Business acumen
- Willingness to learn new things
Professional Training and Courses
Training in different fields of cosmetology depends on the personal aptitude of the individuals. It depends whether some wants to be an expert in hair care of skin care or if someone wants to be an aroma therapist. Various women polytechnics and vocational institutes are providing programs in cosmetology. And the 90% of the courses are based on practical work carried on the mannequins and people. The practical work includes hair cutting, perming, coloring, bleaching, relaxing, all phases of hairdressing & styling, skin care, facials, manicuring, pedicure, massaging of the head, face, hands, legs, neck, arms and feet, make-up and unwanted hair removal methods. There are countless courses on offer at fees ranging from Rs 5,000 to 40,000. One can opt for a certificate course, a diploma or an advanced diploma in cosmetology.
This field doesn't require very high academic qualification. One can learn the art of cosmetology even at the age of 35 or 40 as the period of training is very brief and requires no prior formal qualifications or degrees. Only practical skills acquired by various courses and inherent abilities are need to work in this field. But it would be better if at least one is 10+2 or a graduate.
Colleges, Institutions and Universities
- National & Regional Vocational Training Institutes for Women (Ministry of Labour, Govt. of India) offer recognised courses in beautycare/cosmetology (Delhi, Noida, Allahabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Vadodra, Hissar, Indore, Trivandrum, Tura).
- YWCA (www.ywcaindia.org) centers in major cities also offer courses in beauty care.
- Nagpur University (www.nagpur-university.com) offers a B.Tech. in Cosmetic Technology, perhaps the only one of its kind.
- Pearl Academy of Fashion, A-21/13, Naraina Industrial Area, Phase II, New Delhi 110028 (www.pearlacademy.com) offers a Diploma in Fashion Media Make-up (1-yr). In association with London College of Fashion, UK.
- VLCC Institute, (www.vlcc.co.in) (Diploma in Beauty Culture & Hair Design, Fitness & Personal Training (8-mth); Diploma in Dietetics, Health & Nutrition (1 yr+ 3mth); Short-term Basic /Advance courses in Makeup, Hair Designing, Beauty Culture.
- Habib's Hair Academy, South Extn-II, New Delhi
- Pivot Point India, J Block, Kailash Colony, New Delhi
- Shehnaz Hussain's Women's World International, Greater Kailash-I, New Delhi
- VLCC Academy of Beauty and Hair, Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi
- Slyvie's Hair and Beauty Academy, East of Kailash, New Delhi
One can specialize as:
- Makeup artist: They specialize in bridal, ramp, theatre, portfolio make up and sometimes provide consultancy services too.
- Mehendi and tattoo artist: They are expert in bridal mehendi, mehendi tattoos, body art tattoos etc.
- Aroma therapist: They are expert in providing different kinds of massages with different aroma oils or plant extracts.
- Spa Therapist: They provide detoxifying treatments for cellulite, holistic healing using hot and cold stones, body wraps, scrubs and hydrotherapy.
- Nail artist: They specialize in artificial sculpturing of nails, nail piercing and nail art.
- Hair extension specialist: They specialize in cutting, coloring and perming of hair.
- Trichologist (hair expert): They specialize in cutting, coloring and perming of hair.
- Electrologist (hair removal expert): An electrologist offers removal of unwanted hair via an electrolysis machine.
Many kinds of job opportunities can be there for those who are well trained in beauty and hair care/cosmetology.
One can start as an intern in a large beauty parlor for getting right amount of experience and can be in touch with the changing trends and make-up techniques.
Fashion and advertising world also offers a great scope for the beauticians and hair stylists. The film and television industry too requires well-trained and qualified cosmetologists. Cosmetic industry also needs the services of beauticians for identifying the skin type and hair type of the customers and advising them regarding the use of cosmetics. Beauticians can also work as sales consultants as they can help in promoting the sales of cosmetic products. Health and fitness clubs have their own beauty parlors. Beauticians can provide fitness and healths advise along with providing them with the services of hair dressing and skin care.
There is a whole lot scope for self-employment too. One can open up a beauty parlor or salon providing for specialized kind of services like hair coloring, facials, bridal make up etc.
Cosmetologists can also write articles, books or even can produce videos to advise people on the subject of beauty and hair care. One can the job of a salon or spa manager, platform artist, theatrical make-up expert, school instructor or a beauty journalist.
As an intern one can start with a pay scale of around Rs.3000 to Rs.10,000. As one keeps on growing and becomes experienced one can charge Rs.500 to Rs.4000 to do a bridal make up or for a photographic session. For make up and hair dressing in advertising campaigns one can earn around Rs.1,500 to Rs. 2,500 for a day's work. In the modeling assignment, the pay scale is much higher and it would be around Rs.3,500 or more per day depending on the top-line-professionals.