Types of Math Used in Cosmetology


Many people are under the impression that cosmetologists breeze their way through a quick and easy education and then go into a brainless job. This is not true. It is a true art, knowing how to create a one-of-a-kind hairstyle that suits someone just right, and a lot of math goes into creating that ideal look. The website COSCareers.com suggests that classes like general math, pre-algebra, algebra and business math prepare students for a job in cosmetology.

Basic Math

  • Basic math is used by cosmetologists daily, if not with every client. Basic math is used when adding up the customer's bill. For example, if a customer received a $20 deep conditioning in addition to their usual $50 color and $35 haircut, then the cosmetologist needs to add those up. Basic math is also used when a cosmetologist blocks off time in her schedule for a customer. If a client schedules a haircut at 2 p.m. in the afternoon and another client wants to come in for highlights at 3 p.m., the cosmetologist must do the math to see if she can allot enough time for both clients.


  • Algebra is also used in cosmetology quite frequently. Percentages and measurements are used with every chemical service. A cosmetologist must know what percentage of peroxide to use with each color service, as well as measurements for the peroxide and color to create the perfect formulation for that client. Chemical services such as perms also use algebra. A cosmetologist must know what amount of chemicals are in the product and how long to leave it on the client's hair.


  • Angles make up the fundamentals of geometry, and angles are a must-know in cosmetology. Hair needs to be combed, cut and parted in many different angles, so geometry is used every time a cosmetologist performs a haircut.

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