It’s an age old question and there seems to be a lot of speculation about what actually separates the study of cosmetology from esthetics.
So How Exactly Are They Different?
Technically speaking, cosmetologists are taught the theory and practice of hair styling, makeup, nail application and decoration, pedicures, skin care and more; estheticians are focused on skincare only.
While cosmetologists can specialize in esthetic practices like microdermabrasion, it is a bit less common for Estheticians to also have a cosmetology license. However, estheticians can have specializations too such as, electrolysis, chemical facial treatments, reflexology, brow and lash maintenance, and more.
Does Each Program Teach Basics of the Other?
Well, cosmetology students do learn the basics of skin care and maintenance along with the other general features of the program such as hair cutting and coloring. However, esthetics students learn about analyzing and assessing skin conditions, eyebrow shaping, waxing and tinting, microdermabrasion, reflexology, facial and body waxing practices and techniques, and more.
Basic hygiene and sterilization practices are included in the core of each of these programs because keeping your customers safe from potential bacterial spread and exposure is the number one priority.
Licensing requirements vary by state, but most trade schools (which is what cosmetology and esthetics schools are) require that students be at least 17 years of age with a high school diploma or equivalent.
Check out your state’s licensing requirements before enrolling in any program.
The number of hours needed to complete the program depends on the amount of theory/lecture and practical/training needed to satisfy the requirements of the program.
Cosmetology programs often require between 1,000 and 2,400 hours be completed in order to obtain a license, while most esthetics programs require around 600 hours. These numbers vary and you should speak with an admissions representative if you have questions about this.
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