Becoming a hair braider is a great way to offer a specialized beauty service and start an exciting new career. You can learn more about this field here at BeautySchools.com and find nearby braiding schools!
Hair Braider Training in Colorado
Before you can legally work as a hair braider in Colorado, you must complete a full cosmetology program. There are a variety of cosmetology programs located throughout the state. Some are privately-owned cosmetology schools, which tend to have smaller class sizes and more traditional class hours. You may also find chain cosmetology schools located in Colorado’s large cities; these programs tend to offer evening and weekend courses for your convenience.
You need to complete 1,800 hours of classroom training before you can become a cosmetologist and work as a hair braider. This can take between one and two years of study, depending on whether you attend school full-time or part-time. Some schools do teach hair braiding, while others only briefly touch on the subject. If you want to become a hair braider, make sure to choose a cosmetology school that offers a comprehensive braiding education.
In the braiding part of your cosmetology education, you may learn about the five main types of braiding: cornrowing, twisting, braiding, locking, and weaving. Initially, you learn from textbooks and videos. Once you have a strong grasp of different techniques, you practice them on mannequin heads to perfect your technique.
Licensing and Certification Requirements in Colorado for Hair Braiding
Colorado is one of just seven states that requires prospective hair braiders to complete a full cosmetology program and earn a cosmetology license. Before you can get your license, you have to complete 1,800 hours of classroom education at a state-approved cosmetology school. This is somewhat controversial; the Institute for Justice reports that there are nationwide efforts to eliminate cosmetology licensing requirements for hair braiders. The Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure requires you to sit for the Board-administered exam after submitting proof of program completion.
Once you have your license, it is good for up to two years. Cosmetology licenses must be renewed by the end of April every even-numbered year. There are no continuing education requirements for licensed cosmetologists.
Career Outlook and Employment Opportunities for Hair Braiders in Colorado
Once you have completed your education and earned your cosmetology license, you can officially begin your hair braiding career in Colorado. The career opportunities available to you depend on where you live and what braiding techniques you’re trained in.
Many new braiders choose to work for full-service salons; you can choose to either rent a chair or be directly employed by the salon. There is another option that allows you to take on the role of business owner. You may choose to open your own hair braiding salon. This typically involves longer hours, since you may have to hire staff, pay the bills, maintain the shop, and take on other business tasks. In addition, you may need to market yourself to find clients.
Regardless of where you work as a braider, you can look forward to spending most of your time with clients. Prior to actually braiding a client’s hair, you may spend time with them discussing their requests and offering your professional opinion. Braiding a full head of hair can take several hours, so you may only see a few clients every day. Since hair braiding is still growing as a field, there is not much information on salary ranges. However, many hair braiders earn salaries similar to those of hair stylists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for a hair stylist in Colorado is $27,290 per year.
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