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A day in the life of a cosmetology student

by Staff

You wake up. The alarm rings, over and over as your eyes adjust and you fight the urge to slam your palm into the machine that has become your bane. You wipe away the sleep from your eyes, and then squint from the raw sunlight that has begun to punch your retina. A short walk to the bathroom, some water splashing, some soap foaming, some facial contact, and you’re ready to face the kitchen. Some coffee and a piece of toast with jam and butter, then breakfast is over. A quick change in the bedroom and it’s out the door, into the car, and off to school.

You try to make good time; rushing into the classroom with burst, followed by the realization you’re actually five minutes early. Good for you, now the hard part begins. Your mannequin head is laid out on the stand and your scissors are in your hand. The instructor, a wizened sage imparting her beauty knowledge, looks over at you and asks you to demonstrate a new cut you learned the day before. You’re ready; or at least you think you are, you’ve been practicing the motions, training your fingers to bend in horrible positions in order to get the right layer and length. You try, and as you try a cramp in your fingers starts to form. You pull away from the head, shake your fingers, and for a moment you are a professional, focused only on the job, making the cut the way it should be made. The instructor watches you, feels your determination, congratulates you, and points out where you can improve.

Up next it’s time to practice manicure and pedicure. The group enters the classroom, half are selected to apply, the other half to receive. You recline in your chair and watch as one of your friends works over your fingers, the dipping, the drying, the application, and the gentle brush stroke that glides over your nail. You take it all in. The instructor comes by and offers some advice on technique, the proper amount of polish, the width of the stroke, examining nail health and the like. You jot down her words in your notebook. Soon it’s over and the roles are reversed, and you find yourself looking at nails slightly differently. You note discoloration, frayed cuticle edges and rough nail tips. You work hard on each nail, and upon review your work does not go unnoticed. You feel as though you’ve taken one step closer.

At lunch time you look over your notes, read some of the text, take in a spoonful of fruit salad, and repeat. Lunch goes quickly and the adrenaline is waning, you start to feel tired, but you work through it, make your way to class. Today’s lesson is customer care. The instructor illustrates scenarios wherein customers are displeased with service. The class is asked how they would respond, it becomes role play. The customer complains about the quality of the hair cut, you claim it was done to her specification, she says it is too short, you point her to the no refund policy, she fumes and walks off. You are informed that you dealt with the customer poorly and have lost future potential business. Others step in, offering suggestions on how to keep the customer happy; you listen intently and write in your notebook “always keep the customer happy.”

The day ends. You leave the school and head home. You prepare a small dinner of salad, chicken and rice; you spread your notes and textbook out on the table. You alternate reading and eating, sentence, food, sentence, food. Once done you place the plate in the sink, head into the living room, pull out your practice head and get to work. A few hours later you’re asleep, ready to start all over when the next day begins.

A word about Cosmetology:

Cosmetology is not an easy profession. It requires many skills and knowledge from multiple fields, steady hands and a lot of experience. Finding a beauty school can mean a successful career for the aspiring student. Every program is different; they vary from school, city and state. This is due to the licensing laws that are put forth in each state, and the accreditation requirements of the National Accrediting Commission for Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS) for beauty and cosmetology schools.

Some programs can be as short as eight months, others longer, and it is up to the student to find the school that will fit his or her needs. A student must take advantage of every opportunity their school provides; this includes job placement and internship opportunities. The cost of school will also vary, some schools may include the materials as part of the tuition, others may not, an aspiring student should factor this information when making their decision.

Cosmetology is a growing field, and is quickly becoming the second career of many professionals looking for a change. The opportunities for an aspiring cosmetologist are many but going down that road takes dedication.



About the Author
Da Vinci, Editor in Chief of Your Life After 25, has carved out her own position as a “Realistic Optimist,” and modern day Renaissance woman. Your Life After 25 is the women's magazine for all women, but we put a spin on things and also make sure to embrace life for ladies over 25. Whether you're 25, 30, 35, 40, 50 or older we have something for you! Your Life After 25 "Believe It Or Not, It Does Go On"
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  • Jamal

    This was quite informative, especially for a potential cosmetology student, like myself.

    • Glad this helped you, I hope you were able to choose the right school for you 🙂

  • wow, awesome blog.Really thank you! Awesome.

    • So glad you love the site! 🙂

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