Hair Braiding Schools and Programs
Do you want to start a career in the beauty industry but feel unsure about what specialty you want to enter? Hair braiding is a subfield of cosmetology that involves learning how to braid, cornrow, weave, and manipulate hair. The New York Times reports that hair braiding is a traditional African method of hair styling that has gained significant popularity in the United States. Learn more about this rapidly-growing field here at BeautySchools.com and find a hair braiding school near you to get started.
Browse All Hair Braiding Schools in the U.S.
You must attend a school that is approved by your state to provide training in the discipline you want to practice. Check with the school and the state board to be sure that your program of study will prepare you for any applicable state licensure.
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Hair Braiding Education
Since hair braiding is such a specialized form of hair styling, you have to complete many hours of training before you can work on real clients. There are five main hair braiding techniques; within each technique, there are variations that you can master. The five hair braiding techniques are weaving, cornrowing, braiding, twisting, and locking.
To start, you can plan on watching videos and observing your instructors while they work on mannequin heads. You can then get your own hands-on experience with mannequin heads and, eventually, real clients.
Some hair braiding schools and programs also teach you how to put in extensions, as many hair braiding clients also have extensions. This depends on your state’s licensure requirements and what kind of school you attend.
Certification Requirements for Hair Braiders
Since hair braiding is a new field, certification requirements vary widely from state to state. In some states, braiders must have a full cosmetology education that allows them to pursue cosmetology certification. A few states have a special hair braiding license that requires far fewer hours than a cosmetology license. Several states do not require braiders to become licensed in any way.
What It’s Like to Work as a Hair Braider
After you graduate from your hair braiding course and complete any certification requirements in your state, you can start your career as a braider.
Much of your day will likely be spent seeing clients. Depending on your client’s hair texture and length, you may recommend different types of styling to them. A full hair braiding session can take several hours, so you may only see a few clients per day.
In addition to seeing clients that need all of their hair done, you may see repeat clients that just need their hair touched up. This takes significantly less time than doing an entire head of hair.
Career Outlook for Hair Braiding Graduates
Some successful braiders work in salons, while others open their own specialty shop. In areas where hair braiding is in high demand, you may be able to rent a chair at a popular salon. If you want more freedom in when and how you work, you may choose to open your own hair braiding salon.
There is little information on average salaries in this field, since it is relatively new. However, it can be grouped under the category of barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists. Professionals in this group earn an average annual salary of $22,770 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But remember, most hairdressers don’t always claim their tips!