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History and Opportunities
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Brief History of Cosmetology Career Paths for a Nail Technician A Bright Future
After completing this chapter, you will be able to: 1. Describe the origins of appearance enhancement. 2. Describe the advancements made in cosmetology during the 19th, 20th, and early 21st centuries. 3. List the career opportunities available to a licensed nail technician.
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PART 1 ORIENTATION
Page number indicates where in the chapter the term is used.
B R I E F H I S TO RY O F CO S M E TO LO G Y
Cosmetology is a term used to encompass a broad range of specialty areas, including hairstyling, nail technology, and esthetics. Cosmetology deﬁned is “the art and science of beautifying and improving the skin, nails, and hair, and the study of cosmetics and their applications.’’ The term comes from the Greek word kosmetikos, meaning “skilled in the use of cosmetics.’’ Archeological studies reveal that personal beautiﬁcation was practiced in some form as early as the Ice Age. The simple but effective grooming implements used at the dawn of history were shaped from sharpened ﬂints, oyster shells, or bone. Animal sinew or strips of hide were used to tie the hair back or as adornment. Ancient people around the world used coloring matter on their hair, skin, and nails, and practiced tattooing. Pigments were made from berries, tree bark, minerals, insects, nuts, herbs, leaves, and other materials. Many of these colorants are still used today.
The Egyptians were the ﬁrst to cultivate beauty in an extravagant fashion, and to use cosmetics as part of their personal beautiﬁcation habits, religious ceremonies, and preparing the deceased for burial. As early as 3000 BC, Egyptians used minerals, insects and berries to create makeup for their eyes, lips, and skin, and henna to stain their hair and nails a rich, warm red.They were also the ﬁrst civilization to infuse essential oils from the leaves, bark, and blossoms of plants for use as perfumes and for puriﬁcation purposes. Queen Nefertiti (1400 BC) stained her nails red by dipping her ﬁngertips in henna, wore lavish makeup designs, and used custom-blended essential oils as signature scents. Queen Cleopatra (50 BC) took this dedication to beauty to an entirely new level by erecting a personal cosmetics factory next to the Dead Sea. Ancient Egyptians are also credited with creating kohl makeup— originally made from a mixture of ground galena (a black mineral), sulfur, and animal fat—to heavily line the eyes, alleviate eye inﬂammations, and protect the eyes from the glare of the sun. In both ancient Egypt and Rome, military commanders stained their nails and lips in matching colors before important battles.
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CHAPTER 1 HISTORY AND OPPORTUNITIES
History also shows that during the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC), Chinese aristocrats rubbed a tinted mixture of gum arabic, gelatin, beeswax, and egg whites onto their nails to turn them crimson or ebony. Throughout the Chou Dynasty (1100 BC), gold and silver were the royal colors. During this early period in Chinese history, nail tinting was so closely tied to social status that commoners caught wearing a royal nail color faced a punishment of death.
G re e k s
During the Golden Age of Greece (beginning in 500 BC), hairstyling became a highly developed art. The ancient Greeks made lavish use of perfumes and cosmetics in their religious rites, in grooming, and for medicinal purposes. They built elaborate baths and developed excellent methods of dressing the hair and caring for the skin and nails. Greek women applied preparations of white lead on their faces, kohl on their eyes, and vermilion on their...
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