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What Are the Education Requirements for Hair Stylists?
If you are interested in a beauty career that allows you to work specifically with hair in many different ways, you may be interested in attending a hair styling program. This type of education lets you spend your educational hours learning about hair, its composition, hair styling, how to cut it, and how to change it through chemical procedures.
Hair styling is a program that isn’t available in all states, so you definitely want to check out your state’s specific licensing requirements before looking into hair styling programs. In some areas, hair styling is simply part of the broader subject of cosmetology, which means that you have to study all aspects of cosmetology before working as a hair stylist.
While you work toward a hair styling license, you should get to experiment with many
different parts of this field. Of course, you have to learn about statutes, standards, and cosmetology laws in your state. However, you also get to explore the nuts and bolts of this field, like styling techniques, tools, cutting techniques, and chemical processes.
Hundreds of hours of your training will be dedicated to practical experience and working with clients, so you should be ready to start your new career as soon as you get your license.
Initial Licensing Requirements
The requirements of your licensing agency depend on which state you live in and which types of licenses they provide. In most of the United States, a distinct hair styling license is not available. If you want to style and use chemicals on hair, you need to get a cosmetology license. However, states that have licenses specifically for hairstyling tend to require about 1000 hours of training, considerably less than what is required for cosmetology.
To qualify for licensure in this field, you have to complete your training at an accredited school. During your search, look for schools that are accredited by agencies like the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences. Choosing an accredited school makes you feel confident that the training at your school will be up to standards.
After finishing your education, you’ll likely have to complete a written hair styling exam and a practical hair styling exam. With your passing scores, you can apply for licensure.
Though it may seem like a lot of extra steps, licensing is actually a very important part of the hair styling field. It makes consumers feel safe when they choose a stylist, ensures that your peers meet the same high standards that you do, and keeps the field of cosmetology from becoming old and stale.
How Do I Renew My Stylist License?
Regardless of whether you earn a cosmetology license or a hair styling license, you’ll need to keep your license valid through your state’s renewal process. Each state has its own specific requirements and processes, and following these processes to the letter can prevent extra fees or delays.
Continuing education may or may not be required for you to renew your license—it’s pretty evenly split across the United States. If you are required to earn continuing education credits, expect to earn about four to 12 credits per year.
Renewing your license is usually a pretty easy process, especially compared to the initial licensing process. You generally just have to fill out a short form, provide proof of your continuing education, and wait for your new license to come in the mail. In most states, renewal is required every two years. Check your state’s rules to make sure that you’re not supposed to renew every one or three years.
Can I Use My Stylist’s License In Another State?
License reciprocity or license transfer may be an option for you to consider if you want to take your hair styling career to a different state. First, you’ll need to compare the licensing requirements for the state you live in and the state you are moving to. If they are fairly similar in the amount of hours required and the type of training involved, you may simply need to have your current Board of Cosmetology send proof of your license to the Board of Cosmetology in your new state. Additionally, this is often the case when the training requirements in your home state exceed the training requirements in your new state.
If the training you receive in your home state is not equal to or greater than what is expected in your new state, you may have to make up the difference with work experience or additional education hours before you can transfer your license to the new state.
In the event that the training expectations are considerably different between states, you may also need to pass the hair styling exam in your new state to get your license.