Cosmetology - Beauty and Hair Care


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
  • This includes treatment of skin like tag removal, lifting, toning and various kinds of facials like French facial, oxygen facial, general facials depending on skin type. It also includes treatment for wrinkles, acne, blemishes and scars and pigmentation etc.
  • Hair dressing
  • It includes treatment for hair and scalp along with its styling and cutting, coloring, perming etc and how to keep hair healthy and attractive, use of wigs and other hair styling accessories.
  • Fitness instruction
  • It includes teaching aerobics, managing gyms teaching yoga etc.
  • SPA management
  • It includes managing spa and steam baths to keep a person in proper shape and health.
  • Nature cure
  • Includes herbal cure for skin and body along with proper diet.
  • Beauty consultancy
  • It includes resolving people's problems regarding beauty and skin treatment and advising them on issues related to it. It also includes promoting the sales of beauty products and demonstration of their use.
  • Massaging
  • Includes giving various types of body massages to both men and women to reduce their stress levels and putting their bodies in proper shapes while making them feel a bit relaxed.
  • Pedicure
  • Treatment of feet and to make them look beautiful.
  • Manicure
  • includes giving a beautiful look to the hands and fingers.


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
  • Dedication

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.

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.

Career Prospects

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.