Friday, 26 April 2013

Year Of The Artisan & Skills-Based Education: How To Become A Beauty Therapist




This year has been declared the “Year of the Artisan and Skills-Based Education” by government, to promote the diplomas and courses offered by Further Education and Training (FET) colleges in South Africa. This month we will be looking at what it means to become a beauty therapist and what you will have to study to qualify as one.

Beauty therapists are professional, qualified people who strive to help others feel good about their appearance and help them to enhance their natural beauty.

The world of Beauty Therapy is exciting and fascinating, with strong connections with the fashion and hairdressing industries. The field is varied and diverse, offering many opportunities to learn and develop skills in a range of different areas.

Beauty therapists use various facial and body treatments to help their clients look and feel their best. Beauty therapists offer treatments such as:
  • Make-up application
  • Eyelash and eyebrow shaping, perming or colouring
  • Manicures, pedicures and specialist treatments such as nail extensions
  • Unwanted facial or body hair removal
  • Body massage and aromatherapy
  • Various non-surgical skin therapies

Individual therapies take place in warm, clean and private treatment rooms or cubicles. Beauty therapists usually wear a uniform to protect their own clothes and to look clean and smart.

There are good career opportunities for beauty therapists and they can follow various career paths which include:
·         Practicing in a health spa or skin care clinic
  • Practicing on board a cruise liner
  • Consulting and practicing within a medical environment (i.e. pre and post-surgery)
  • Owning and managing a clinic or health spa
  • Lecturing or teaching at a training institute
  • Practicing as a representative, product trainer or manager of a professional cosmetic company
  • Practicing as a journalist within the health and skin care industry
  • Practicing in either the fashion, media or theatre industry
  • Aroma therapist
  • Reflexology
  • Nail technologist

Full-time beauty therapists can work up to 40 hours a week and often work after hours or on weekends. New products and techniques are however introduced all the time, so beauty therapists need to keep their skills up to date. Therapists usually take short courses on using particular products, or study further to get qualifications in specialist techniques.

A beauty therapist should have excellent interpersonal skills, be a good listener with a caring attitude, be good with their hands and be interested in science, and in health and beauty.

Satisfying aspects of being a beauty therapist
·         Helping others
·         Making a difference in people's lives
·         The opportunity to work part-time or flexi hours

Challenging aspects of being a beauty therapist
·         Working with a client with a poor self-esteem or a difficult client means that you will have to approach every client with care, taking control of the situation and advising the best treatment for the client
·         Constant changes in fashion, techniques and technology means that you will have to keep up-to-date with current trends.

Applying for a course in beauty therapy

There are various FET colleges that offer both part-time and full time courses in beauty therapy. Each college will stipulate their minimum application requirements and it is always better to confirm the requirements with the school or college before applying.

There is a complete list of schools and colleges listed on The South African Association of Health and Skincare Professionals (SAAHSP) website. These schools and colleges adhere to the SAAHSP and comply with their principles to ensure the best standards in beauty, health and skin care.

It might also be a good idea to talk to a beauty therapist to find out how they enjoy their day-to-day activities and to gauge whether it is something that you would like to do.

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