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What Are the Education Requirements for Getting Licensed as a Hair Braider?
Hair braiding is one of the newest specialties in the beauty industry, although the techniques of this field have been around for hundreds of years. As this specialty has spread across the United States, it has been integrated into the field of cosmetology.
You may get several types of education and experience, depending on which part of the country you live in and what the licensing requirements are in your state. If you live in a state where hair braiding is not licensed, you can get any type of training or education you feel you need, including informal training. If hair braiding is licensed in your state, you need to choose an accredited program. Most of these programs are part of cosmetology schools.
Throughout your education, you may explore several different topics. Many states require training in sanitation and hygiene. You may also learn about different braiding techniques, such as locking, weaving, and cornrowing.
Hair braiding programs may be as short as a few hours or as long as several weeks. The length of your program depends on whether you need to learn braiding techniques to become licensed or just sanitation training.
Initial Licensing Requirements For Hair Braiders
Before you select a hair braiding program in your state, you definitely want to look into the licensing requirements for your state. Not only do requirements vary quite a bit between states, they are still changing in quite a few parts of the United States. Since this field is relatively new, many states are still figuring out how this career should be licensed. In some states, you have to complete a full cosmetology program before you can legally braid hair. In others, this career path is completely exempt from licensure. In between these two extremes, you may find states that require the completion of a short braiding-only program or states that require sanitation and hygiene training.
It’s important to note that licensure requirements may change between now and whenever you decide to pursue your license. Advocates and experts in braiding are pushing for fair licensing requirements across the United States, so it is very important to ensure that the school you choose prepares you to earn your license.
How Do I Renew My Hair Braiding License?
When you obtain your first hair braiding license, you should immediately look into license renewal requirements. Just like with your initial license, requirements vary quite a bit from state to state. If you live in a state where licensing is required, you will likely need to renew your license at set periods for as long as you want to work in this industry. Most states require renewal every two years, but there are states with one year and three-year renewal periods.
To renew your license, you may need to complete continuing education hours. In this particular specialty, most states that do require continuing education only require you to learn about sanitation and hygiene. If you are not expected to complete continuing education to renew your license, you typically just have to fill out a short renewal form and pay a license renewal fee to the licensing agency in your state.
Can I Use My Braiding License in Another State?
Reciprocity can be difficult to obtain in this specialty. Most beauty fields have fairly similar expectations across state lines, so practitioners only have to complete a little bit of education or just transfer their license to another state. In the case of hair braiding, requirements are so incredibly different from state to state that it is difficult to transfer your license. However, if the licensing requirements of the state you’re moving to are similar to the licensing requirements of the state you are from, you may be able to transfer your license or take advantage of license reciprocity.
As hair braiding becomes a more established part of the cosmetology industry, this may change. For example, in states where braiders are required to obtain a cosmetology license before practicing, advocates for hair braiding are fighting for more reasonable restrictions regarding licensing and education. As more states adopt specific licensing procedures for hair braiders or deregulate the field entirely, license reciprocity may become a much easier process.