The beauty industry is old—you could say ancient. Practitioners have been around since the earliest known civilization. Our industry has grown, matured, and achieved, but our status on the social ladder—in relation to other industries—is inferior.
Let us go back in time when beauty professionals were treated with respect and dignity. The year was 1350 B.C. The place was Egypt.
According to our history books, this is where the beauty industry was born. During this time a young woman was being groomed to be queen—her name was Nefertiti. Nefretiti’s role was to help rule Egypt as Queen. It was her duty to be not only a beautiful woman, but the most beautiful in the world.
To this day, the beauty secrets of ancient Egypt set into motion the practice of everyday hair care and cosmetology. The shadowing of brows and lids, the delicate touches of rouge, the applications of ointments and perfumes, and the straightening of hair were arts practiced by both men and women of that era. The Queen was tended by a staff of 50-100, each with their own special knowledge, materials, or implements and high-sounding title. The most prestigious title went to the group of men or women who catered to hair.
To say that an industry that is now over 6,000 years old is mature would be an understatement. Our reputation is an industry in transition, an industry that lacks modern management sophisticated marketing and basic business practices. The fact is that the beauty industry is a leader-an industry that has survived where thousands have failed.
If only the public treated our industry with the respect and professionalism given kings and queens of yesteryear. Nefertiti’s beauty has survived time through museum statues and in history books. There are many more Nefertitis being created very day by cosmetologists. You can be sure that our industry—the oldest and the strongest in the world—will grow and prosper over the next 4,000 years.
Jeffrey Grisster is vice president of beauty salon finance. Quest Resources (Edison, NJ).