Cosmetology Through the Years

Each and every profession has changed with the times. However, cosmetology is focused on appearances, which can change both drastically and quickly. These rapid changes in aesthetic have made for an interesting history of cosmetology.


The Roaring ’20s have come to an end and we are beginning to use electronic beauty tools for the first time. Shops were all staffed with women wearing crisp white uniforms and sporting the “finger waves” hairstyle.


In the ’40s, salons began seeing more soft, curly feminine styles. Cosmetologists of the 1940s were often the most stylish of all because they had easier access to beauty products.


The 1950s saw the rise of the ponytail and sleek, modern styles. Cosmetologists became style role models for their customers, often with the Liz Taylor-esque style of heavy makeup and mascara with bright red lips.


The rock-and-roll era of the ’60s led to wilder and more dramatic hairstyles including ultra-short cuts (as seen on Twiggy) and long, straight Cher hair.

1970s – 80s

Cosmetologists specialized in more sophisticated and natural hairstyles with cleaner, less made-up looks. Many cosmetologists donned white frocks or medical jackets and shorts, more refined hairdos.

1990s – Present

Today, more men are becoming cosmetologists than ever before. Cosmetologists are looked to as the true leaders in style. No one look prevails anymore, as individuality is the catchphrase of the modern era.