August 27, 2020

How Are Cosmetology and Esthetics Different?

When it comes to beauty school, most of us probably immediately think about cosmetology and esthetics programs. Not only are these programs the most commonly offered, but the career growth for cosmetologists and estheticians has grown significantly in recent years.

At Raphael’s School of Beauty Culture, our cosmetology and esthetics programs are very closely related, with cosmetology building upon the skill sets and qualifications learned in our esthetics program. Before you make a decision about which program to enroll in, let’s take a look at some of the differences between cosmetology and esthetics!

What Is A Cosmetologist?

A cosmetologist is a professional who provides beautifying/enhancing treatments to the hair, skin, and nails. This can include hair cutting, coloring, and styling, manicures/pedicures, hair removal, and makeup application. While cosmetologists in Ohio can offer skincare services that an esthetician offers, they can also work with hair. Many licensed cosmetologists go on to become hair stylists, barbers, or hair colorists. However, with the consistent popularity of makeup, many cosmetologists pursue careers as makeup artists.


As a licensed cosmetologist, you could work as any of the following:

  • Hair Stylist
  • Hair Colorist
  • Salon Owner
  • Makeup Artist
  • Editorial Stylist
  • Wedding Stylist
  • Beauty Educator

Woman styling another woman's red hair

As a licensed cosmetologist, you have options when it comes to your workplace. You can work as a salon employee, rent a booth as an independent contractor/freelancer, provide mobile services, or even office service from your home. In the state of Ohio, cosmetologists can even work in spas and provide esthetic services.

Our Program

The cosmetology program at Raphael’s School of Beauty Culture, Inc. is 1800 hours and can be completed in as little as 13 months.

In our program, you can expect to learn the following:

  • Anatomy of Hair and Scalp
  • Haircutting and Styling
  • Chemical Treatments (Color, Highlights, Perms, Relaxers)
  • Makeup
  • Facials
  • Nail Treatments (Manicures, Pedicures, Acrylics)
  • Business Practices
  • And more!

What Is An Esthetician?

An esthetician is a skincare professional who provides treatments and modalities to help improve the overall health and appearance of the skin on the face and body. Many estheticians also offer makeup application, brow threading/shaping, and hair removal services, which can overlap with a cosmetologist’s services. However, an esthetician does not cut, color, or style hair, and focuses primarily on skincare services.


A licensed esthetician can work as any of the following:

  • Esthetician/Skin Care Specialist
  • Medical Esthetician
  • Makeup Artist
  • Spa Manager
  • Wax/Hair Removal Specialist

Student performing a skincare treatment

Licensed estheticians can work in spas, salons, and some medical offices. If you’re looking for more flexibility in a career, you can also become a freelance esthetician/makeup artist and offer services in your home or travel to your clients’ homes.

Our Program

The advanced esthetician program at Raphael’s School of Beauty Culture, Inc. is 750 hours and can be completed in as little as 6 months. You can learn how to provide a wide variety of spa services and safely use machines for advanced treatments.

Our curriculum covers:

  • Dermaplaning
  • Threading
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Chemical Peels
  • Relaxation Massage
  • Makeup Application
  • Body Polishes and Rubs
  • Oxygeneo Facials

State Requirements

To become a cosmetologist or esthetician in Ohio, you must complete the hour requirements in an accredited program and pass the theoretical/practical state board exam. At our school, the cosmetology program is 1800 hours and allows you to provide esthetics or cosmetology services. The esthetics program is 750 hours and has a narrower focus, allowing you to only perform esthetician services.

To learn more about becoming a cosmetologist in Ohio in this blog post. You can also get more information about licensing and exams on the Ohio State Cosmetology and Barber Board website.

Which Program Should I Choose?

When you make this decision, think about your passions and interests! Are you obsessed with skincare routines and makeup tutorials but don’t really think about hair? Or maybe you’re the opposite and hair is your priority but you’re also interested in makeup, skin, and nails. Whatever interests you the most could be the right option for you.

It’s also important to think about your lifestyle and scheduling preferences. Whether you have a family or a part-time job, think about how your future career will fit into your life. Do you want to become a salon stylist and work during traditional hours, or would you prefer to be freelance and work evenings and weekends? The great part about careers in cosmetology and esthetics is that they can both offer relatively flexible schedules.

Learn More About Beauty School!

Raphael’s School of Beauty Culture has a legacy of over 50 years while always remaining current in our training and equipment. If you’re interested in our cosmetology or esthetics program, contact us today. We offer both programs at five out of our seven Ohio locations.

We’d love to set up a tour so we can get to know you better. You can also contact us for any questions about scheduling, program requirements, and financial aid*. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

*Financial aid is available to those who qualify.