How and Where to Get Your Hairstylist License in the US
Published August 4, 2023
If you have a talent, and a passion for hairstyling and want to turn it into a rewarding career, having a hairstyle license is a crucial step in your journey. A hairstylist license showcases your expertise and also allows you to legally work as a professional hairstylist in the United States.
A hair-cutting license from your state is a requirement you need to get before you charge people to cut, dye, or treat their hair. Each state varies in its hairstylist licensing rule, although we can spot similarities among them. In this article, we’ll discover all there is to know on how and where to get your hairstylist license. Let’s start.
What Is a Hair Stylist License?
A hairstyling license, also known as a beautician’s license, barber’s license, and cosmetology license, are all acceptable forms of licensure for hairstylists. One achieves it in conjunction with formal education or apprenticeship. Both of which permits you to exercise the art of cutting, coloring, and styling hair as a certified professional.
The Importance of Being a Licensed Hairstylist
Every state demands a hair-cutting license, and the only way you could legally earn money as a hairstylist is to secure it. Some states need xtra licensing to braid hair, even if you already acquired your cosmetology license.
Working as an unlicensed hairdresser could result in stiff penalties and fines. It is crucial to get the right type of licensing for the services you plan on marketing.
The Variety of Hairstylist and Hair Salon Licensing Requirements
Each state has its own distinct licensing requirements for hairstylists. Most of them need an applicant to be at least 16 to 17 years of age, have a school diploma, and studied at a state-approved cosmetology school. The education requirements generally involved attending a hairstyling, beautician, or cosmetology institution. The institutions must be supported by the state. They must attend from 12 to 18 months.
There are states that allow an apprenticeship under a licensed hairstylist. For some, a mixture of education alongside apprenticeship. For renewal of a license, it is usually required every 2 to 4 years. Some states demand a certain number of continuing educational courses. In addition to styling and treating hair, you can also learn a variety of skills in your school and apprenticeship. Skills such as esthetic, manicuring, and waxing to name a few.
How To Obtain a Hairstylist License
The normal route to becoming a licensed hairstylist starts with meeting the age and educational requirements. This calls for, having a high school diploma. A few states demand only a 10th-grade education. Applicants will then attend a cosmetology institution or work as an apprentice for up to 2 years.
Upon completion of school requirements and or apprenticeship, you will submit this information and application fee to your designated state licensing board. After that, you will take a licensure examination.
A hairstylist licensing test often involves a written exam. The test bases itself on hairstylist theory and procedures. Many states also need a practical exam where applicants showcase their cosmetology skills. Also, the exam may include knowledge of state laws and regulations for hairstylists.
Acquiring a Hairstylist License in Different States
As we’ve already established, different states call for different processes for securing a hairstylist license.
To obtain a hair-cutting license in California, applicants must be at least 17 years of age and have a 10th-grade education. Applicants must also secure 1,000 hours of education at a state-approved cosmetology institution or get a 3,200 hours as an apprentice to a licensed hairstylist.
Upon competition of education or apprenticeship, you can proceed to take the state exam. The state no longer requires a practical exam but passing a theory test dealing with hair, nail, and skincare. The California Board of Barbering & Cosmetology has a list of sample questions and examination information on its webpage. The state also permits reciprocal licensing.
In Florida, securing a haircut license calls for applicants that must be at least 16 years old, or have earned a high school diploma. The state demands at least 1,200 hours of education in a cosmetology institution backed by the state. Another option is at least 1,000 hours of training with the institution, declaring the applicant is prepared to take the state exam.
Florida also requires applicants to take a four-hour HIV/AIDS course. The course is authorized by the Florida Board of Cosmetology and to pass the state cosmetology exam. The state also permits reciprocal licensing.
3. New York
To become a licensed hairstylist in New York, applicants must be at least 17 years of age. They also must get 1,000 hours of education at a reputable beauty school. The state does not need a high school diploma and a background check.
Applicants must also complete a domestic awareness course. Next is to acquire a health physical from a licensed doctor or nurse practitioner. A license application must be submitted within 30 days of the physical, with the health practitioner completing and dating the Health Certification part of the application. As the state licensing board accepts your application, passing a written and practical examination is required to obtain your license. New York permits some cosmetology license holders from other states. This is done by obtaining a license through endorsement or reciprocity.
Applicants for a Texas hair-cutting license must be at least 17 years old and have a high school diploma. Aspiring hair professionals could also fulfill this rule by taking an ability-to-benefit examination. The test is present at a Texas community college.
Texas demands 1,000 hours of instruction at a Texas-licensed beauty school. It also needs another 1,000 hours of instruction. With 500 hours of related high school classes in a vocational cosmetology program. Finally, you must have a Class A Barber Certificate. Alongside 300 hours of cosmetology instruction at a state-approved school.
Applications must also receive a passing grade on their written and practical licensing exam. One of which is from the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation. Finally, the state also permits reciprocal licenses for cosmetologists based in another state.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hairstylist License
1. Can I get a hairstylist license through an apprenticeship?
Some states offer the option to get a hairstylist license through an apprenticeship program. The apprenticeship involves working under the guidance of a licensed hairstylist. It needs fulfillment of training hours and coursework. Apprenticeship requirements and availability differ by state.
2. What does the hairstylist licensing exam entail?
The hairstylist licensing exam consists of both a written and practical component. The written exam tests your theoretical knowledge of hairstyling techniques. Also, your expertise on safety procedures, and state regulations. The practical exam evaluates your skills in haircutting. It also tackles coloring, styling, and other related services.
3. How long does it take to get a hairstylist license?
The time it takes to get a hairstylist license can differ depending on factors. Those are the duration of your cosmetology program or apprenticeship. The frequency of exam administrations, and the processing time for license applications. On average, it may take several months to a year to complete all requirements and receive the license.
4. How do I renew my hairstylist license?
Hairstylist licenses need to be renewed, usually every 1–2 years. To renew your license, you will need to fulfill continuing education requirements and pay the renewal fee. In addition, you will submit any necessary documentation to your state’s licensing board.
Becoming a licensed hairstylist in the US calls for dedication, education, and practical experience. Attend a reputable state-approved beauty school or complete an apprenticeship. You can definitely get the skills and expertise needed in the field of hairstyling. With your hairstyling license in hand, you’ll be sure to have a fulfilling and creative career in the beauty industry.
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About The Author
Meet Rei Bayucca: a versatile and seasoned writer who has ventured through diverse fields. With a passion for producing insightful and meticulously-crafted pieces, she aims to promote enlightenment and engagement among her readers.