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Making beauty their business

IF YOU think, "Beauty is just skin deep"; give it a second thought!

With the work environment getting increasingly competitive and professional, the need to appear well-groomed and attractive has assumed greater importance not just for women, but for men as well. To top it all, the fast pace of modern living leaves little time for personal grooming, causing more people to turn to professionals for treatments that improve and maintain their looks.

This has resulted in a rapidly increasing demand for beauty products and beauty treatments turning beauty care or cosmetology into a Rs 100-crore industry.

According to a survey conducted by AC Nielson, an estimated $129.9 million was spent globally in 1999 on hair colouring products. And in the past decade sales have more than tripled. India's cosmetic industry is worth Rs 1800 crore, with a growth rate of 25%, while the herbal segment alone is worth Rs 300 crore, with a growth rate of 40%.

When you get into the beauty business, even though it is not mandatory, training is necessary to achieve that professional edge. A diploma in beauty or hair care is an advantage if you want to work as a beautician or a cosmetologist.

As this is a specialised skill, it requires not merely professional expertise but a great deal of practical training as well. There are several training schools for beauty and hair care courses, preferring no particular qualification more than a 10+2 or even a class 10-level education. But a degree in pharmacy, Ayurveda and botany with basic knowledge of cosmetic chemistry or cosmetology is preferred for specialisation.

The syllabus for these courses usually includes theoretical inputs on anatomy, physiology, dietary, as well as practical work such as giving facials, different types of massages, make-up, hair-cutting and so on. It is advisable to take both beauty care as well as hair dressing training, as it widens job opportunities.

Once the coursework is successfully completed and graduates have passed the board exam, there are many options available.

They can also opt to become Photo or Movie stylists, Hair Color or Perm Specialists, Cosmetology Instructors, Image Consultants, Product Distributors. Photo or Movie Stylists have the opportunity to travel and work on famous people. Being a Cosmetology Instructor might be a rewarding career choice as you can see your accomplishments through the success of your students.

If you enjoy conversation and networking, consider becoming an Image Consultant. Color or Perm Specialist can also be an exciting choice as each client will be a new challenge.

Some of the prominent institutions that provide training in beauty and hair care are Shahnaz Hussain's Women's World International, B-40, Greater Kailash-1, New Delhi, Habib's Hair Academy, M-3, South Extension, Part-2, New Delhi, Blossom Kochhar's Pivot Point, New Delhi, Smiles, A-160, Azad Nagar, MIG Colony, Veera Desai Road, Andheri (West), Mumbai, Polytechnic for women, A-3, South Extension, Part-1, New Delhi, Delhi Institute of Management & Services, A-3, Akashdeep, New Delhi, Schnell Hans Beauty School, 111, Mistry Chambers, Colaba, Mumbai, Government Polytechnic for Women, Adyar and Guru Nanak University, Amritsar.

If you are really interested in the beauty business, it is essential to have a good sense of aesthetics and creativity, and a liking for people of all ages. You must have a friendly manner, an attractive well-groomed appearance, good health, the ability to stay on your feet for long periods and a sense of hygiene and cleanliness.

The present shows that beauty and glamour is no longer restricted to those walking on the ramp, even small towns boast of beauty parlours and gyms frequented by middle-aged men and women as well.

Moreover, market research studies indicate that intensive use of creams and lotions and the visits to the beauty parlours has become a regular routine for most young men and women, turning beauty care into one of the faster growing industries.

Here is a very good opportunity knocking your door. If you are people- friendly, creative and have a sense of aesthetics, then open them and let opportunity in!

TINA MARIAM JACOB

tina.mas@cnkonline.com

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