Find Jobs:

Featured Schools

request info
request info
request info
Enter your zip code
x

How Much Education Do You Need to Be a Hair Stylist?

All hair stylists are required to have a state license in order to work in a salon or barbershop, but the actual amount of time you need to spend in beauty school depends on the licensure requirements of the particular state in which you will be studying.

A hair stylist's education may begin when he or she steps foot in beauty school, but it doesn't end when he or she passes the test for a beauty license. While graduating beauty school means that a person is qualified to start a career as a hair stylist, it is really just the start of a life-long education in hair and beauty.

When you think about applying to beauty school to become a hair stylist, it is also important that you consider the state in which you will eventually work. Every state requires hair stylists to have a license before they can work in a salon, but not every state agrees on the number of hours of education one needs before one can get a license. If you plan on living and working in the same state for a long time, then simply enroll in a beauty school that is in your area and begin working towards your certificate and license. However, if you plan to work in a different state, or if you live near the border of one or more states, then you will have to do some research. Which state has the most number of required hours for a license? That state's requirement will the become your guideline, since more hours of education will probably mean that you can work in more than one state.


Beauty school curriculum is not just about cutting and styling hair, though that is certainly a large portion of it. It's also about practicing safe hygiene and careful techniques that will protect both you and your clients. This is one of the many reasons that states have such different requirements for beauty licensesbeauty school curricula often depends on the health codes and professional standards of each state. You can expect to learn in beauty school how to sterilize brushes, combs, and scissors so that every person who sits in your chair can rest comfortably knowing that they are being taken care of well by you.

The short answer to the question "How much education do I need to become a hair stylist?" is whatever your local beauty school requires of you. Normally, when enrolled as a full-time student, men and women can finish a program and start a career within a year's time. However, many students add on advanced techniques to their beauty schooling, whether it be advanced styling and cutting classes or even a business class or two to prepare them for running their own successful salon one day in the future.

Of course, if a stylist wants to stay on top of trends to make clients happy, one must continue to learn new styles and techniques. This might be done formally, as in returning to school for an advanced license, or informally, by learning from coworkers or master technicians. Either way, a successful hair stylist will start out with the basics learned in beauty school and build on that knowledge for years to come.