The requirements to be a barber vary across the nation, but all states require barbers to complete a state-approved training and education program and to get a license. If you have set your sights on a career in this field, carefully consider what type of license you will pursue. Your choice will affect the amount of training and education you need. More importantly, it will also affect what you can and cannot do in the course of your business.
Many people are under the false impression that a barber's license limits a professional to performing mostly male hair cuts. In reality, barbers can cut anyone's hair. They can color and style their clients' hair, and they can prepare and apply treatments and cosmetic applicants to the hair and scalp. Examples include perms and dandruff relief lotions and powders. Furthermore, barbers are usually the only cosmetology professionals who can shave their clients.
A cosmetology license requires more training than a barber license, but it allows professionals to offer their clients more services. In addition to providing hair and scalp services, licensed cosmetologists can work with the skin. For example, in California, cosmetologists perform eyelash tinting, give facials and remove hair by waxing and tweezing. A cosmetologist license will also allow you to give manicure and pedicures.
In most states, if you want an apprentice to work under you or if you want to teach rising classes of barbers, you will need an instructor's license or certificate. Generally, you must have the appropriate license in the discipline you want to instruct first, meaning you can't apply for your license and your instructor's license at the same time. Keep in mind that if you only have a barber's license, you will only be able to teach aspiring barbers. Furthermore, be aware that you will likely have to meet additional requirements to become an instructor
A temporary permit can allow you to get to work before you get your license. Again, the requirements may vary according to state regulations. In Virginia, applicants must be eligible for the licensing examination and must work under a licensed professional, and the temporary permit is not a loophole to avoid licensing. The permit is only valid for 45 and it's not renewable.
Felicia Dye graduated from Anne Arundel Community College with an associate's degree in paralegal studies. She began her writing career specializing in legal writing, providing content to companies including Internet Brands and private law firms. She contributes articles to Trace 775.com.