Mathematics is used in cosmetology when stylists measure and determine the length at which they will cut hair, work with angles of cuts, mix products and colors, charge clients, work the register and buy equipment, explains MerchantCircle. Many cosmetology schools, such as the school in Eastern Wyoming College, require students to take basic math classes to ensure they can read equipment and work with money accurately.
Throughout the day, cosmetologists use math in a number of different applications. In its most basic form, math is used when a stylist measures a client's hair and determines how much to cut off based on the client's request. The stylist must try to work with the client to make sure that the hair is cut to the correct length and angles, which all require mathematical calculations, according to MerchantCircle.
Furthermore, cosmetologists must understand fractions and percentages when using equipment and when mixing coloring products. Hair clippers have various length attachments that are measured in fractions of an inch. So, if a stylist did not know that 1/8 of an inch is smaller than 1/6, then he would pick the wrong attachment and cut the hair incorrectly. Likewise, mixing color products requires the stylist to know exact measurements and percentages to get the correct color.
When the appointment is over, many cosmetologists charge and ring up the client themselves. They must understand how to make change in a register and calculate tips.