Debunking Common Misconceptions About Cosmetologists

Do you know what a cosmetologist is and what they really do? The term cosmetology is defined as ‘the professional skill or practice of beautifying the face, hair, and skin through the application of beauty treatments.’

Although this is a very common occupation, lots of people have misunderstandings when it comes to cosmetology. This often holds people back from even attending beauty school because they don’t understand what a cosmetologist really is.

Enrolling in a cosmetology program entails far more than just learning how to cut hair. You learn all types of valuable skills, techniques, and procedures in beauty school. So, let’s break down some of these most common misconceptions and discover the truth about being a cosmetologist.

Myth #1: You Don’t Need a License to Practice as a Cosmetologist

This is absolutely false, as every state in the US requires that cosmetologists earn a license to legally practice. Although the specifics around certain requirements vary depending on state laws, a cosmetologist must do the following to receive an active license:

  • Complete a set number of hours of training through a state-accredited cosmetology school
  • Apply for the state license exam
  • Pass both the practical and written portions of the exam

States are allowed to set the number of training hours required for a cosmetology program. For cosmetology schools in California, this was 1600 hours. However, recent legislation has dropped this requirement down to 1,000 hours, which will be in effect as of January 1, 2022. However, schools can still choose how many hours they want their curriculum to be, up to 1500 hours. 

During this training, cosmetologists learn all kinds of skills and techniques which will be tested during the state exam. This ensures that they follow the proper procedures and follow the safety standards to practice. All cosmetologists must renew their licenses every few years (this number depends on state laws) to keep practicing.

Myth #2: There are Limited Career Options for Cosmetologists

Unlike many other types of training programs and licenses, you are not limited to a particular job position as a cosmetologist. There are lots of kinds of jobs you can pursue after earning your cosmetology license!

Cosmetologists can also go back to school for advanced training after they complete their initial cosmetology program. For instance, they can specialize in a make-up designory course to become a makeup artist. They can also become a cosmetology educator or learn specific skills, like permanent makeup, laser hair removal, or eyelash extension services.

Myth #3: Beauty School is Unaffordable and Impractical

While cosmetology school is not free, it is a far more affordable option for career training compared to a traditional college education. It also takes far less time to complete than a 2 or 4-year college degree. The full-time students at The Salon Professional Academy in San Jose can complete their course in under a year!

Cosmetology students may also apply for financial aid, including federal grants and beauty scholarships. This can make cosmetology school far more affordable to pay off without taking out excessive student loans.

Another reason why going to cosmetology school is so practical is because all of the courses are focused specifically on the subject of cosmetology. In college, you are required to take general education classes which may not be related to your field of study.

Cosmetology students also have the chance to gain hands-on experience before graduating by working in student salons. This helps them to prepare for their future careers once they earn their license.

Myth #4: Being a Cosmetologist isn’t a Good Career Choice

If you have a passion for the beauty industry and enjoy helping others look and feel their best, becoming a cosmetologist can be extremely rewarding. Not only are there many career options to consider, but there is also a lot of freedom in the cosmetology field to try new things.

Many cosmetologists can create their own work schedules, especially once they have built up a list of loyal clients. This means you only need to work when you have appointments – and you can set your own prices for these services if you operate as a freelancer.

Cosmetologists can also work in creative environments with other talented people. Whether you choose to work in a salon, on a film set, or for specific events like photo shoots and weddings, you’ll be working with other people who have similar interests and talents.

Looking for a Cosmetology School in San Jose, CA?

If becoming a cosmetologist has always been your dream, now is the time to make it a reality. The Salon Professional Academy in San Jose proudly offers beauty courses to help prepare our students for a future in beauty.

Contact us now to learn more about our cosmetology program and schedule a tour of our campus today!






1600 Saratoga Ave, Suite 103, San Jose, CA 95129- Locate at Westgate Mall, Next to TJ Maxx

Phone: 408-579-9111 Email: