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  • Writer's pictureHollywood Institute

History of Cosmetology Schools

1920s and 1930s

During the 1920s, neighborhood barbershops were the norm. What we think of today as a professional salon was practically unheard of. The professionalization of cosmetology didn’t begin until the 1930s. With that increased professionalism came formal education. Cosmetologists were trained in small groups, usually at little, privatized shops. Electrical tools made their first appearance in the 1930s. They allowed stylists to work faster and with more clients.

1940s and 1950s

Demand for cosmetologists continued to grow in the 1940s. With WWII, short haircuts became the standard. Cosmetologists were charged with the duty of giving women a perfect bob haircut. In shops, cosmetologists were the first people with ready access to beauty products. These shops were where most women first gained experience with beauty products. Women sought out cosmetologists for advice and access to merchandise.

As men returned from WWII, women wanted to look glamorous. Glamour became the order of the day in the 1950s. With their training and skill, many women looked to cosmetologists for advice and assistance. With their sudden fame, cosmetologists became more respected. They also started earning better wages.

1960s and 1970s

In the 1960s, hair color became more accessible and common. Women started wanting to become blonde. The “girl next door” look was popularized. Cosmetologists helped women perfect the extreme short hair of a Twiggy-style or the super long hair of Cher. The 1970s saw a simplified and less extreme approach to hairstyles. As expected, cosmetologists adapted and assisted women in achieving their desired appearance.


Along with the ascension of the supermodel, came the popularity of cosmetologists and stylists. Cosmetology became seen as a wise career move for women and men, especially if they wanted to achieve financial independence. People weren’t able to color and process their hair at home, so cosmetologists were required to put together the big hair and highly-stylized looks. Stark makeup, full lips, and properly manicured nails were incorporated into a more modern appearance. Women became more concerned with trends and fashion. They simply didn’t have the skills or resources to sculpt the desired aesthetic at home.

Today Cosmetologists are still in demand. Hair extensions have become remarkably popular, and they necessitate several hours of professional assistance. Colored and treated hair still need special care and attention. While hair color can be used at home, it doesn’t always provide the results that people want. Stylists are frequently needed to correct at-home accidents and do-it-yourself gaffes. While women were previously responsible for making salons popular and made up the bulk of a cosmetologist’s clients, men have started paying more attention to their appearance. As a result, men often seek out cosmetologists for education and assistance with everything from hair care to skin care. Today, cosmetologists face rigorous hours of study and coursework. They’re required to pass extensive exams to become licensed. It’s not surprising that so many women and men seek the best cosmetology schools. With the help of cosmetology schools in Hollywood, FL, you can become part of the elite and colorful history of cosmetologists. Contact the professionals at Hollywood Institute of Beauty Careers at to learn more.


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