Meeting the Requirements for a Barber License
Barbering is like any other health and beauty-related profession; it’s regulated with the practitioners – the barbers – licensed in all of US’ 50 states Alabama being the last state to impose regulations on the practice. The requirements are there because a barber’s work deals with public health.
Though the extent and limitations of what a licensed barber can do vary from state to state, generally, haircut/hair-grooming professionals are licensed to do these services:
- Trimming, shaving and cutting hair
- Trimming and/or shaving beards and mustaches
- Shampooing, arranging and singeing hair
- Hair straightening or waving with the use of the proper chemicals
- Hair bleaching or coloring
- Hair tonics application
- Cutting, measuring and fitting wigs, head caps and other hair pieces
- Facial and scalp massages with the use of creams, lotions or essential oils
- Cosmetic application to the face, scalp and neck
Minimum Requirements for Barber Licensing
A Formal Education/Apprenticeship
Every US state’s department of barbering/cosmetology requires aspiring barbers to meet the educational or apprenticeship requirement they have set for them to become qualified barbers. In all states, it is necessary for the candidates to go through and complete a barbering program. But there are some states that accept the completion of an approved apprenticeship in place of a barber program. Nonetheless, a number of states – like New Hampshire – call for the completion of a barbering program and an apprenticeship.
For instance, the Division of Licensing Services in the New York State Department accredits barbers who went through apprenticeship provided that it meets these requirements — that it’s within a two-year period and that it was completed through the direction and supervision of a licensed New York barber.
The length of a complete barber’s course depends on the institution one is enrolled in and can be taken in either a school of cosmetology or an institute solely dedicated to learning the barbering craft. To qualify for a barber’s license, a candidate must be able to complete a haircutting/hair-grooming program that is acknowledged by the board as well as a course that meets all the essential requirements they have set.
The length of the course/program barbers need to take to have their licenses depends on what the state has set just like how cosmetologists obtain theirs. For instance, while the State Barber Board of Ohio sets their program completion to 1,800 hours, the Department of Licensing and Regulation of Texas requires theirs to be just at least 1,500 hours.
In some states, having a cosmetology license also shortens the time needed for completing a barbering program. Example, licensed cosmetologists in Tennessee who wish to get barber’s licenses are allowed to complete the needed barber’s course in just 750 hours as opposed to the standard 1,500 hours.
Aside from completing the needed barber course or apprenticeship, barbering aspirants need to take a state license exam before they get the license. Usually, the exams consist of two parts — the theory section in written form and the practical section which is where the will-be-barbers show their tonsorial skills. A number of states use the written and practical examinations which the NIC [National-Interstate Council on State Boards of Cosmetology] offers. The Montana Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists is one such board to do this.
Minimum License Requirements
Age is another important qualifying factor for a barber wannabe aside from completing the right barber course and passing the barber licensing exam. Laws require candidates to be of certain age to be able to apply for a license. This determinant varies from state to state. Case in point: Washington DC requires applicants to be at least 18 years old to qualify butin Texas, individuals as young as 16 can already qualify for a barber’s license application.
Other stipulations for a barber’s license include . . .
- The applicant’s educational background [some state boards require candidates to possess a high school diploma or a GED while others accept applicants who completed at least the 10th]
- The aspirant’s criminal background
- The will-be-barber to pass a medical/physical examination
Like any other standard licensed profession, barbers also have to renew their licenses via the board of barbering/cosmetology in the state they in. In general, license renewals are either annual or biennial.