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Assessing The History Of Cosmetology Cultural Studies Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Cultural Studies
Wordcount: 1434 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Cosmetology has been around for a long time. There are many different things that have been used to make hair color and makeup over time. One of them would be henna, a stain that can be made into many different colors that people would put on their hair and nails. Over all cosmetology, or the art and science of physical beauty, has changed rapidly over time, from the ancient uses of makeup to the hair coloring and styles of modern 21st century women. It still to present day serves the same purpose as it did when it first became an essential for women.

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Cosmetology was first introduced when the very first human began to worry about the way that he or she felt about the physical appearance or completion they saw. Cosmetology really has no creation date starting with information on Ancient Egypt to China. Artifacts have been found all around the world relating to what early humans created. “The first people to use cosmetics were ancient hunters, who smeared ashes under their eyes to protect from sunlight, and covered their body’s in urine to chance their scent.” A lot like the ancient Egyptians who were one of the oldest cultures to introduce cosmetics, “Egyptians used things like, minerals, insects, and berry’s to create makeup and, henna to stain their hair.” One main thing that the Egyptians used was eyeliner to block out the ultraviolet rays coming from the sun. Ancient China on the other hand used nail stain and elaborate hairstyles to show a since of wealth. “Ancient Romans were known for there lavish potions and lotions. They also wore wigs and hair extensions and most of them colored their hair.” The color of their hair, was used to indicate there class in society. For example, noble women colored their hair red, middle class colored their hair blonde and poor people colored their hair black.” Romans also wore perfume, face powder, blush, eyeliner, and lipstick. Unlike the women in the Middle Ages who wore makeup on their cheeks, and lips but never on their eyes. Women in the middle ages wore tapestries, headdresses, intricate hairstyles as a part of their beauty culture. The Renaissance on the other hand was completely different. The men and women during this time would shave their eyebrows and hairline to have a bigger forehead. For the women it was thought to make them look more intelligent, they couldn’t wear heavy makeup because it was thought to be discouraged. And during this time both men and women care about their physical appearance. Like women in the Victorian age, were known more for pinching their cheeks and biting their lips to add color to their face instead of using makeup. They also work hard “to preserve the health and beauty of the skin, women used beauty masks and packs made from honey, eggs, milk, oatmeal, fruit, vegetables, and other ingredients.” Although once the 20th century hit the standard of beauty completely changed. There was not making your own makeup or using henna to stain your hair and nails, because at that point people started inventing things like makeup and hair color for others to purchase.

When motion pictures coincided with America, the viewers saw that the celebrities had a flawless complexion and perfect hairstyles. Even by 1908 Max Faktor had created a make up that wouldn’t crack or peal under tons of heat. Then nearly 24 years later Max then invented a type of make up to make skin look natural on color film. After that the cosmetic industry grew rapidly. “From the year 1927 to the year 1930 the advertisement went from 390,000.00 to 3.2 million dollars.” Even though woman’s magazines wouldn’t publish cosmetics for the thought it was inappropriate, they soon came to be the largest advertising revenue in the 1920’s. By the 1930’s there were three new inventions reviled, starting with the perm machine by Ralph L Evan’s and Everett G. McDonough. This machine had flexible pads that wrapped around the hair and once moistened with water it released a chemical heat that in return made long last curls. Within this same year Charles Revson, created the very first nail polish after nearly 4000 years since the first know nail stain was ever created. Charles Revson used a formula that came from automobile paint. This man also was the creator of Revlon, now one of the biggest makeup industries known. Finally “Lawrence Eelb, a new York chemist, introduced the first permanent hair color and founded the company Clairol. Another highly used cosmetic revenue in today’s time. Then in the year 1938 Arnold F. Willatt invented the cold perm which didn’t use any type of heat or a machine, but later scientist developed another method by using waving lotion. “Once the second half of the 20th century arose, the introduction of tube mascara, improved hair care and nail products.” Toward the end of the 20th century makeup went full circle with heavy eye shadow and blush, “all ethnicities enjoyed all hair colors weather it be Blonde, Brunette or red. There was no longer a rule stating that your hair color determined if you were high class or poor. Then the last invention came during the last 2 years of the 20th century, “in 1998 creative nail introduced the very first nail pedicure.” Which today both men and women use to soften their feet or just to relax. By now we have traveled very far throughout history, and have reached a new time where things change even more.

Once we hit the 21st century we hit a time where cosmetology was optional. Where in Ancient times you didn’t have to go to cosmetology school, you just practiced a lot over time and became good. “Most of the time they relied on apprenticeships or slavery.” Now days you can attend a cosmetology school weather it be a high school course that you take or a collage course, but you complete 1500 hours, and pass your state board exam. “A course for cosmetology degree can include hair cutting, styling, coloring, and permanent waving, as well as facials, makeup application, massage electrolysis, and nail technology.” Cosmetology can lead to many different professions such as a hair stylist, barber, nail technician and plenty of others.” This is a wonderful thing to pursue because a cosmetologist can earn anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 dollars a year, just depending on the salon prices, clients, how well you work with your hands, and if you have the strength to go the extra mile to work for long hours to build up your clientele. All of this sound very good although without completing the cosmetology program and getting your degree you can not work in a salon or anywhere like that. A cosmetologist is truly more than just a hair stylist they are the fairy godmothers of style and change. Now that the year 2010 is here so are the new hairstyles. Even though they change year to year, “this years top trend are to encourage both edgy but yet cool as well as classy and refined.” The three main hair styles for the year 2010 are as follows, the bob, layers, and curls. The bob simply because it gives you a sporty look but yet when need to it allows you to maintain a polished and classy look for those important dates. The layers are just a fun way to change up your hair style; you can go with the razor cut or even the pointed cut. Either way they are both a super sleek and easy hair style that you can just flip out the ends and go. Then there are the curls, depending on the way you feel that day “you can use a curling iron to make them tight or lose depending on the style that you are going for.” As times are changing so is everything around us, we have went from women using makeup and working in hair salons to “Men’s only specialty spas and barber spas providing new opportunities for mens nail care specialists.”

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From the Ancient Egyptian’s all the way up to the 21st century, our cultures has been evolving, as well as cosmetology. Although it still deals with the three main aspects hair, skin, and nails, we have discovered that there is so much more about cosmetology to learn. From the first facial made with minerals, to the first permanent wave that dealt with a machine that you sat under. As long as mankind continues to evolve so will the art of cosmetology along with cosmetics. Who knows in the next 300 years what do you think cosmetics will be like, or even cosmetology for that matter?


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