Making Your Mark as a Texas Barber
Whether you’re a famous football player or an average Joe, Texas barbershops are known for catering to their customers. The Dallas Cowboys’ barbers follow the team around the country ensuring players look their best before each game. Also in Dallas, the High and Tight Barbershop is business in the front, party in the back, complete with a full bar and live bands. Traditional haircuts are plentiful at the Back in Time barbershop in Keller, Texas. And over in Austin, crisp, clean Finley’s will serve you a glass of wine to enjoy while a licensed barber gives you an impeccable cut and shave.
Regardless of their shop amenities, all Texas barbers are trained to cut, style and trim hair, beards, and mustaches. All professional barbers in the state are regulated and licensed by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) and the Texas Board of Barber Examiners. When you have questions regarding barber education, licensing, renewals and other related questions, the TDLR barbering page offers useful and informative links to help you in your search.
If you’re eager to become a licensed Texas barber, the steps below outline the courses, exam process, and steps to earning and renewing your license:
Obtaining Your Texas Barbering School License
Once you complete 1,500 hours of barber training, you can apply for state barbering exams and your license. Your first step will be filling out and submitting a Barber Student Permit Application. Upon its receipt, the TDLR will issue the permit that enables you to enroll in your chosen barber training program.
While classes will vary depending on the school you attend, the Texas Board’s barber training requirements include the following courses:
- Texas barber laws and rules
- Hygienic bacteriology
- Science of barbering
- Histology of the hair, skin, muscles, and nerves
- Skin and hair disorders
- Facial treatments
- Hair weaving
- Wig servicing
- Structure of the head, neck, and face
- Elementary chemistry
Upon completing your training, your barbering school will notify the state’s licensing vendor that you’re eligible to take your exams, which is the next big step toward earning your license.
Texas Barber License Exams and License Application
While the Texas Board determines your licensing requirements, you will coordinate with a third-party vendor to register for and take your barber licensing exams. Watch for your exam eligibility postcard when you finish coursework. This document will instruct you where to register for your written and practical exams.
Before taking your exams, be sure to read the Texas Barber Candidate Information Bulletin. It includes information on scheduling, practice exam questions, fee schedules and more for both the written and practical exams.
Texas Barbering License Written Exam
This computer-based exam tests your knowledge on a variety of barbering subjects. You will have 90 minutes to answer questions on topics that include:
- Sanitation, disinfection, and sterilization
- Shampooing and conditioning
- Hair coloring
- Nail care and skin care
- Texas license requirements
- Chemical waving
- Haircutting and hair styling
Texas Barbering License Practical Exam
You will have three hours to complete your practical exam. Be sure to include your payment with your registration, and remember to bring your own model or mannequin to your chosen test site. Refer to your Bulletin for a complete list of supplies — both labeled and unlabeled — to include in your test kit. The practical exam will test your ability to perform these barbering services:
- Blow dry
- Hair shaping
- Shaving service
- Facial service
- Chemical service
- Permanent waving
Locations for both exams differ, so refer to your Bulletin or the test vendor’s website for the latest Texas barbering written exam locations. When you’ve completed both exams, the testing vendor will report your scores to the Texas Board.
Once your scores are reported, you can contact the TDLR to submit your application along with applicable fees. The Department, which will mail your license upon receipt of your materials, can be reached:
To apply by mail, send your application and fees to:
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
PO Box 12157
Austin, Texas 78711-2157
Texas Out-of-State Barber License Reciprocity
Interested in transferring an existing barber’s license from another state? You may be eligible for a reciprocal license if your licensing requirements meet or exceed those in Texas. To apply, download the Texas barbering license reciprocity application along with the documentation and fees listed on the form to the TDLR address above.
Requirements for Renewing Your Texas Barber License
You’ll also contact the TDLR to renew your Texas barber license. Watch for your renewal notice every two years, or go to the Department’s website for details.
Texas doesn’t include continuing education requirements in your barbering license renewal. But periodically updating your knowledge of techniques and products is a smart way to expand your service offerings. Finding your personal balance between well-honed skills and up-to-date knowledge will also help you attract and retain clients and benefit from the Bureau of Labor Statistics-reported nationwide trend toward higher demand for barbers projected to continue through 2026.