Have you ever wanted to learn the ancient art of hair braiding? At BeautySchools.com, you can learn all about this field and find nearby schools. Let us help you get started!
There are a variety of training options for prospective hair braiders in Illinois. Depending on where you live, you may either be able to attend a standalone school or a cosmetology school. Standalone hair braiding schools specialize only in hair braiding techniques, including twisting, weaving, cornrowing, locking, and braiding. You may also be able to complete a hair braiding program that’s part of a larger cosmetology school. Many of these programs offer the same type of education as standalone schools.
Early in your program, you learn the theory of different braiding techniques. You may learn how they work in different types of hair and watch your instructor perform the techniques on a mannequin head. After you have learned the basics of a technique, you can practice it multiple times on a mannequin head. As part of your program, you may see clients on a free or low-cost basis; this allows you to practice your skills without worrying about time constraints.
Overall, you must complete at least 300 hours of braiding training. If you attend school full-time, you may be able to graduate in as little as three months. On a part-time basis, you may be able to graduate in six months.
Licensing and Certification Requirements in Illinois for Hair Braiding
Illinois is one of few states that has specific training and certification requirements for hair braiders. The Department of Financial & Professional Regulation released a press release in September of 2011 announcing that hair braiders would no longer need to complete a full cosmetology program. Instead, the Board of Cosmetology requires hair braiders to complete 300 hours of training specific to the field. After completing your training, you can apply for an Initial License by Non-Examination. You can submit your application and your training transcript to receive your license.
Once you have your hair braiding license, you must keep it current. Licenses expire on October 31st of every even-numbered year. In order to renew your license, you must complete 10 hours of continuing education during every two-year period.
Career Outlook and Employment Opportunities for Hair Braiders in Illinois
Upon becoming licensed as a hair braider in Illinois, you can begin your braiding career. There are several career paths you can pursue. Perhaps the easiest way to start out involves becoming employed as a braider by a salon. You can choose to be employed at a salon or you can rent a chair at a local salon and be self-employed. To best serve your clients, you may need to work a variety of hours, including night and weekend hours. If you want to own your own business, you can choose to open a hair braiding salon. The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation requires you to register your salon. As a salon owner, you may have more freedom in the hours you keep.
As a hair braider, you’ll likely spend most of your time with clients. In addition to seeing new clients and braiding untouched hair, you may do touch-ups and adjustments for repeat clients. If you are self-employed or own a salon, you may spend some time finding new clients.
Salaries for hair braiders vary based on experience and skill level. Currently, there is no information that specifically outlines braiders’ average salaries. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average hair professional in Illinois earns $28,080 per year. If you want to network with other braiders and learn about licensing requirements, salon ownership, and more, consider joining the Illinois Association of Hair Braiders. Membership offers many different benefits.
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