cosmetology definition

What does Cosmetology mean?

You’ve probably heard the word cosmetology before. But, have you ever wondered where the word came from or what it means?

The first part of the word comes from the Greek kosmetikos - meaning “skilled in adornment or arrangement.”  The suffix -logy comes from the Greek -λογία (-logia) which has come to mean “the study of”.

Taken together we have our modern meaning of the word. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, cosmetology is “the cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair, and nails.” Practitioners of cosmetology are called cosmetologists.

In California, the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology governs the licensing of professionals in the beauty industry. A Cosmetology license in the Golden State incorporates the training and expertise from two other licenses (Esthetics and Manicuring), plus adds hair to the equation.  It’s no coincidence that it sounds just like our dictionary definition from above.

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