What Skills Do You Need to Be a Cosmetologist?

Cosmetologists need a number of skills to be successful, such as creativity and technical skills to provide the styles and cosmetic results that each client is seeking. They also need to have business and time-management skills to compete in the changing beauty industry.

Cosmetologists have to rely on more than just their skills as stylists and makeup artists. They must have great customer service skills to retain and gain new clients through word of mouth. As many cosmetologists are self-employed, they must also have marketing skills to sell the services and products they offer.

Cosmetologists must also keep up with the latest styles and trends by attending additional technical classes for coloring, cutting and new techniques they can offer their customers. Stylists should have the physical ability to stand for long periods of time and repeatedly perform the same movements, such as combing, cutting and blow drying.

Requirements for becoming a cosmetologist vary by state, though each state does require a license, which is granted upon completion of cosmetology courses. Cosmetology education can take from nine to 15 months to complete, and in some states apprenticeships can be substituted to satisfy the requirements that apply to obtaining the cosmetology license.