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The Industry
 

Beauty has been a concern of men and women since the earliest times. The complexities of modern living leave us less time for personal grooming now than we had before. This has caused more people-essentially women-to turn increasingly to professionals for treatments that enhance and maintain their looks. 

Moreover, as a larger number of women begin to work outside their homes, the need to appear well groomed and attractive has assumed greater importance. Combined with the changes wrought in our lifestyles by the recent sharp rise in disposable incomes, this factor has turned beauty care or cosmetology as it is technically known-into a Rs 1000 crore industry. Cosmetology includes the care and treatment of skin, hair, face and body and covers diet and exercise as well. 

Thirty years ago, this career was considered appropriate only for those of limited financial resources, schooling and social status. Today, however, the returns generated by the industry have begun to attract entrants from all strata of class and education. This area was once almost exclusively a women's preserve. 

Now, as consciousness of the appearance grows, more and more men are coming in as both providers and seekers of beauty care. Success in this field has no relationship to the age of the practitioner.

MAIN AREAS

With the growing awareness that beauty extends beyond attractive physical features to an overall condition of health and well being, cosmetology has in recent years extended its scope to encompass these areas as well. The main aspects of beauty care are:

Beauty Therapy

This covers treatments of face, skin, nails and body. It also includes non-specialist make-up for weddings and other occasions.

Hair Dressing

Includes treatment of the hair and scalp, as well as styling and cutting.

Beauty Consultancy

Usually provided by larger cosmetics firms involves sales and promotion of beauty products sometimes through talks and demonstrations and often includes resolving customers' problems with skin-care and make-up.

Fitness and Exercise

This is a lively, up and coming area that covers everything from health clubs, yoga and aerobics to workout gyms.

PROVIDERS OF BEAUTY CARE

Often, two or more of these services are provided under the same roof. Beauty and hair care are almost always available together at the same place. Locations for these treatments range from luxurious salons at five star hotels to more Beauty And Hair Care Cosmetology functional commercial establishments and small, intimate owner-run parlors that operate from the spare room or garage of the proprietor's home. 

Some beauticians also work at clients' homes-particularly during weddings, when treatments are more elaborate and required for a number of individuals. Establishments that cater to both sexes maintain their customers' privacy by dividing their premises into separate sections for men and women. Many salons also prepare and sell their own beauty care products, sometimes under special brand labels.

SPECIALIST AREAS

The film and television industries also absorb a considerable number of make-up and hair dressing experts-called `artistes'. Working in these fields-as in the theatre-requires specialized knowledge of make-up applications that will hold out under powerful studio lighting. Also important is an awareness of the `look' and hairstyles of historical periods and the skill to adapt and alter an actor's
features with the appropriate make-up and hairstyle to suit the character he is playing.


 
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