The Cosmetologist is a medical professional, and dresses in a fashion befitting their particular place of business. The majority of Cosmetologists work either in corp sponsored private practices, typically as a front for that medical corp's treatments, products, and brand name, or through a Black Hospital's Cosmetic Annex. The typical Cosmetologist looks like a movie star or model, having used their own products and procedures from associates. Never trust an ugly Cosmetologist is like the adage of never trusting a skinny chef.
The Cosmetologist has an office that is a familiar mixture of the quiet sterile doctors office mixed with the socializing media savvy hair salon. The walls are decorated with endorsed advertisements, while flatscreens show what is hot, and what is yesterday, displaying all the latest fashions and trends in personal genestyling. The subject matter of the adverts is often tailored to the Cosmetologist's specialty, such as exotic treatments, high end hair and eye treatments, or sexual enhancement.
The staff at the office will likewise be the same preprogrammed 'good looking' type of people. While there is a pleasing visual symmetry present, the problem that should be a but uncanny is that when running mathematical models through organic outputs, the end result is that the people all start to look the same. Attractive, but the same.
Behind the waiting and consulting rooms is the Salon, and the Salon is where all the magic happens. The main focus of the Salon is the 'Chair' which is in an of itself a very mundane thing. The real work is done via a large machine that is blended into the background of the room, otherwise it would be a hulking intimidating thing. The machine combines a genetic splicing system with a DNA code sequencer that extracts and extrapolates the DNA of the subject undergoing augmentation. The machine is controlled by a LAI (Limited AI) that tells the rest of the equipment what to do. Some high end Salons have an android avatar for the LAI, which functions as a visible assistant to the Cosmetologist.
The quality of the Salon varies from facility to facility. The average Cosmetologist operates a multi-product shop, and has a variety of goods and services for sale, but while it has greater breadth, there is a great limit on how deep the inventory becomes. Likewise, a specialist might have multiple supplies and corps, but they are all focused into a single category, giving a great range of outcomes and typically a higher rate of satisfaction.
The typical 'Salon' caters to superficial augmentations, such as hair mods, weight modification, and other fairly standard operations. The Physical Salon handles much more invasive and structural changes. The Physical Salon specializes in things like full body modifications like muscle augmentation, (replacement for the gym) exotic full body mods, like the animalistic packages, and intensive mods like the Full Gender Swap mod. Physical Salons are much more rare, and typically have waiting lists to get in.
Black Market Salons:
Sometimes the Salon is in a bad part of town, or under a bad part of town, or the bad part of town has grown all around it. This is the sort of salon where the Cosmetologist has tattoos and piercings, and the nurse by the door has a machine pistol over her shoulder. The mods here have questionable quality, the prices are sketch, and there are no guarantees. Most black market salons don't waste time with doing iris color swaps, and most are along the lines of Physical Salons, and most of their work is done on organized crime and gang members who want to keep their thugs as trollish as possible, with big muscles, bad attitudes, and the promise of good looking women to bang.
There are two types of good, Pre-Packaged, and Custom. The Pre-Packaged stuff is a higher end version of the over the counter goods available at most stores. This level of good generally works better, and works faster, and lasts longer (permanent mods are rare and artificially expensive, the Cosmetologist would rather see you twice a year about your male pattern baldness than give on treatment and never see you again). These goods are typically the 'Just Add Sample DNA' jobs that can be handled quick and easily by even a basic LAI. The salons that handle these goods are typically branded by the corp supplier, or in the case of multiple suppliers, they share/fight over display space.
Custom Goods take longer to make, as the LAI has to start with a sample of DNA, and it has to crunch all the data and recombine things until it finishes the treatment for the customer. The treatment is tailored specifically for them, and no one else. this ensures an almost always flawless final result, but it is also more time consuming, and also very much more expensive. The Custom Salons are the Cosmic Era equivalent to the $500 for a hair cut establishments.
A Brief History
Starting from illustrious humanitarian roots, the geneticists who would eventually become the Cosmetologists were originally fighting the great battle against horrible diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimers. As their successes grew, they themselves started becoming victims of their own victories. There is no need for cancer treatments and cancer doctors when cancer is gone. Some geneticists attempted to move into other fields, but it seemed that the professional geneticist was going to vanish, or become a retrotech career choice, like a steam engine mechanic, or roof thatcher.
A pair of geneticists in Paris took a revolutionary step by embracing genetic treatments for small breasts. These Breast Men would pioneer the laid back beauty salon approach, making their practice a comfortable place for their potential customers to visit. Several corps approached Czerny and Cronin-Gerow to market their experimental treatments. While there were some unfortunate side effects and failed treatments, the success rate was initially over 80% and within 2 years had risen to 98%, and many of those who listed themselves as unsatisfied were either grossly overexpanding their mammaries, or failed to enhance them as much as they wanted.
After curing cancer, the geneticists entered the appearance dominated world of cosmetics.
Since that fateful decision, thousands have followed their lead.
Diversity quickly followed as there were only so many professionals needed in the realm of expanding sexual organs. Specialists quickly emerged; hair cosmetologists dominated hair color and modding, Epidermal cosmetologists did body modifications and art like animal prints, and entire niche specialities opened for Therioanthrope BioModifications, turning people into cat-human hybrids, or human reptile hybrids and more. The underground market filled with experimental and black market treatments stolen from tech corps, and brought a good amount of intended for military or special use mods to the street, such as turning humans into muscular titans.
The Dark Side
There is of course a dark side to such rampant genetic modification. The most visible downside to having constant genetic modification is a sort of plastination of the genetic code. With large numbers of people using largely the same modifications, it has created corporate phenotypes. Educated observers can determine with a fair degree of accuracy which company has provided the codex for the patient's genetic mods by overall minor changes in their appearance. Another dark side is GeneTheft. Before a Cosmetologist LAI can produce the genetic mod, it has to have a sample of genetic material from the subject for safety screening and minor adjustments for the best possible outcome. There are entire industries built around protecting genetic information and identity, and likewise entire shadow industries devoted to stealing it. While celebrities, politicians and VIPs are primary targets, some simply attractive human genomes are stolen, sold on the black market and used for cloning purposes overseas.
This can be traumatic to find that your genetic identity has been stolen, and quite contrary to your sedate life in the arco, there is another you, or a few hundred other yous in another country where you are a mass produced whore, or a factory produced second line soldier, or modified upwards to be an informant/mole because you happen to look really really normal.
The final dark side is relationship deception, with such variable biomorphism available in an injection, you have no idea how real the person you are talking to is. The statuesque blonde goddess very well might have 2 years ago been a Philippino man with lots of money.