How to Become a Barber

Learning how to become a barber is key to your success in this industry. We wrote this article to give you a better understanding of what to expect from a barber school and the requirements you need to comply with. 

To give you the most relevant information, we searched online and gathered the important details about studying barbering. You should know about the prerequisites, costs, potential careers, and the entire process of studying barbering.

With our thorough research, we found out that the regulations about becoming a barber are different in every location. Every state/region has its own set of regulations, and some may be stricter than others.

Below is a list of the topics you’ll learn by reading this post:

  1. Find Your Passion for Barbering and Research About It
  2. Know the Prerequisites for Studying Barbering
  3. Enroll in a Barber School
  4. Pass the Licensure Examination
  5. Decide on What to Do After Graduation or Passing the Examination

How Long Does It Take to Become a Barber

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Barber?

What Are the Great Qualities of a Barber?

Are You Ready to Start Your Barbering Career?

Let’s now look at how you can start your barbering career.

1. Find Your Passion for Barbering and Research About It

For many aspiring barbering students, passion is the main driver for pursuing this career. 

Gino Dominic, an owner, co-founder, and director of education at a parlor in Canada, shared in his video that barbering for him is not just a job but also an opportunity to connect with people. It’s a way of making customers feel great about themselves.

Barber Style Directory has similar emotions towards the profession. He said in his video that cutting people’s hair lifts their mood, which, in turn, makes you feel happy as a barber. 

Once you find the right level of passion for learning barbering, know more about it.

Barbering doesn’t only provide haircutting services but also facials, beard grooming, and even basic nail care.

Also, becoming a barber isn’t only for men, but women can learn the techniques and skills and work in a barbershop.

If you still can’t decide whether you’ll attend a barber school or not, you can work as a receptionist at a barbershop. This way, you can observe the daily tasks of professional barbers and how a barbershop works to help you decide.

A receptionist doesn’t need a license for barbering. Owners may only require a high school diploma or any equivalent certificate and some customer service skills. 

2. Know the Prerequisites for Studying Barbering

The requirements for becoming a barber are different from one place to another. 

But typically, age restrictions and academic qualifications are common. Some places allow at least 16 years old, while others need at least 17 years old.

A high school diploma or any equivalent certification is also a requirement. In the US, they accept a General Educational Development certificate.

The number of hours needed to complete a course matters a lot as well, and it’s different per region. But on average, it takes around 1,500 hours. 

Other requirements vary by state/region. Some have stricter prerequisites, while others don’t have any.

If you are in a place that doesn’t have regulations about becoming a barber, you can work in a barbershop like your an apprentice and learn the skills there.

Some states in the US provide an apprenticeship program if the student doesn’t want to take the course.

This method allows students to learn the techniques and skills in a barbershop setup under a licensed professional barber and to earn income at the same time.

3. Enroll in a Barber School

Once you have fully decided to study barbering, it’s time you start checking schools and enroll in one.

Courses also differ depending on the design, provider, and location. You can enroll in a full- or part-time course and choose to study online or in-class.

If you prefer online learning, it’s important to enroll in a provider near you because hands-on training is part of the course. Many course providers require this training performed in their facilities.

It’s also crucial to understand the importance of focusing on the subjects you want to learn. You can be a barber who does almost everything, such as:

  • Waving
  • Curling
  • Dressing 
  • Shampooing
  • Cutting
  • Shaving
  • Facials 
  • Scalp and neck care

There is also a restricted barber where you will provide limited services, such as:

  • Shampooing
  • Hair cutting 
  • Blow-drying
  • Shaving
  • Applying hair sprays and tonics

JFadeIt is an apprentice at a licensed barbershop in the US and enjoys the benefits of the program.

He moved to another state to enroll as an apprentice because his place doesn’t offer this option. He has been training under a licensed professional barber and has to fill out a form with the number of hair services he provided within the two-year program.     

2blean also showed how his first day at a barber school was. He said that it was very productive.

He brought his barber kit with him to school and was able to practice shaving and cutting the hair and beard of a mannequin. 

4. Pass the Licensure Examination

After completing the course or apprenticeship, you’ll be receiving a certificate for it. 

Some places may allow you to work as a professional barber right away. However, others may need you to take the licensure examination and pass it.

The exam is usually written and hands-on. If you pass the two parts, you’ll successfully get your license.

It’s always important to bring the necessary documents you need for taking the exam. Most states/regions may ask for a form of identification during the examination.

Also, remember to renew your license regularly to prevent legal issues or interruptions when working as a professional barber.

5. Decide on What to Do After Graduation or Passing the Examination

After passing the licensure examination, you’re at a point where you need to decide on what to do next. This also applies if your area doesn’t need a license and only requires a course certificate to work as a barber.

You can either study further and take advanced courses to increase accreditations or start working as a barber.

If you choose the latter, you should know the top job opportunities as a barber. Working in a barbershop is not the only option for you because there are plenty.

Some of the common career options you can try are as follows:

  • Shop owner – If you’re more into the business side of barbering, owning a barbershop might be your first option. Make sure to consistently be compliant with the regulations in your area in running a business.
  • Fashion and film barber – Dream big and work in the entertainment industry. You can be a barber for models and celebrities. Make sure to know the current hair trends, so you can provide new hairstyles effectively.
  • Community-focused barber – Some professional barbers prefer to provide services to a specific community. You can offer hair services to senior citizens, soldiers, or kids. 
  • Freelance barber – This is always a more convenient option. You can start providing hair services to people in your area and travel to places while also working.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Barber

The length of becoming a barber depends on the program you’ve enrolled in. Some can only take nine months or less, while others may need two years.       

The course takes even longer to complete if you choose to have it as part time. Barbering programs have a specific number of hours to finish for lectures and hands-on training.

Specialized courses may only take several weeks or a few months to complete.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Barber?

The cost for studying barbering differs by location, provider reputation, and course design. 

But on average, it can be around $10,000-$20,000 (USD) for the tuition fee alone. You still need to spend for your books, barber kit (if not included in the tuition fee), and other supplies, which can be as much as $5,000 combined.

If you’re on a budget, you can enroll in community colleges in your area because they offer lower tuition fees. 

In the case of Barber Style Directory, he only spent $7,500 for his tuition fee. He lives in Mississippi, and barber schools there range from $7,00 to over $20,000.

Not only that, he also shared the basic tools you need for the kit if the school doesn’t include them in your tuition fee. Clippers, trimmers, shears, and a multipurpose comb are a few of the essentials he mentioned.

What Are the Great Qualities of a Barber?

To become really successful in barbering, you’ll need to develop some specific qualities:

  • Time management skills – You need to master this, so you can cater to many clients daily. It’s ideal to set a specific time to finish each client.
  • Stamina – Standing for long periods is what you’ll be doing most of the time. Your hands, feet, and back will surely hurt, so you should be able to endure these or minimize them with some stretching.
  • Customer service – Providing hair services is not just what a barber offers but also good customer service skills. Listening to your clients about what they want with their hair and explaining to them what you’ll do are some of the major aspects of customer care.
  • Being up to date with the current trends – It’s always an advantage if you’re up to date with the current trends. You’ll be able to provide new hairstyles that many customers will surely want to have.

Are You Ready to Start Your Barbering Career?

Do your own research about barbering, and make sure to check with your local regulations about studying this profession. Enroll now, and become a successful professional barber!