Hair Braiding Schools in California

Browse our directory of hair braiding schools in California, or skip ahead to learn about the state's hair braiding licensing requirements and job outlook.

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Barstow Community College – Accredited

2700 Barstow Road
Barstow, CA 92311

How to Become a Hair Braider in California

California Hair Braiding Careers At a Glance
  • Average salary for hair braiding in California is $28,770.
  • There is a predicted 18.7% job increase between 2012-2022.

If you've ever seen a fully-braided head of hair, you know how incredibly impressive it can be! While all beauty careers require nimble hands and an eye for detail, hair braiding requires even more dexterity than most cosmetology careers. However, once you learn how to braid hair, you can create beautiful, unique styles that show off your clients' personal tastes Hair braiding is often a personal expression of heritage, background, and personal style, so the skills you learn may vary depending on which class you attend. In fact, the types of braiding you learn can even vary from instructor to instructor! Let us help you find the right hair braiding program in California today.

State License Requirements

While some states do license hair braiders, California has no licensing requirements for hair braiders. You do not need a cosmetology license or specialty hair braiding license to work in this field. Still, if you do not yet know how to do different braids, hands-on training is an essential part of getting clients and exploring career opportunities.

Education Details

Like most beauty specialties that focus on hair design and hair care, hair braiding in California requires a strong understanding of different hair types, textures, and lengths. Before you even learn about different types of braiding, you may learn how to identify a client's hair type, determine what treatments have been used on a client's hair, and figure out how to manage highly-textured hair. Once you feel confident in your ability to communicate with clients and assess your hair, it's time to master hair braiding. Lots of cultures have their own hair braiding style, so the more you learn, the more different people you may be able to serve! Commonly taught skills include cornrows, twists, knots, and hair locking. You might also learn how to work with hair weaves. More specialized types of hair braiding include fishtails, Senegalese twists, tree braids, and latchhook. Hands-on experience is a must in this field, so get ready to work your fingers.

California Hair Braiding Careers


Average yearly salary for hair braiding in California

Hair braiders fall into the category of hair stylists, hair dressers, and cosmetologists. It can be difficult to figure out the specific job outlook and salary for hair braiders, since it's such a specific career. This type of hair design is rapidly growing in popularity across the United States, so the job outlook may be beneficial for those who are willing to learn about multiple types of braids and make their clients happy. The job outlook for California cosmetology professionals is very promising! O*Net expects a 19% increase in California cosmetology jobs between 2010 and 2020. Many communities only have a few hair braiders, and your job outlook may be better if you establish yourself in a community that has fewer hair braiding professionals. According to O*Net, most cosmetology professionals in this state earn between $17,700 and $43,800 per year, with an average salary of $22,900 per year. Many hair braiders are self-employed or business owners, which can significantly affect your income. In the state of California, hair braiding is not regulated or licensed. As a result, you do not have to worry about getting certified via the Board of Cosmetology.

When you begin your career as a hair braider, get ready for a social job that will put you in close contact with many great clients. Braiding someone's hair isn't like a hair cut; you can't finish in 30 minutes and send them on their way. Rather, braiding a whole head of hair can often take hours. While working with a client's hair, you may learn about their family, their job, and their struggles. Not only do you have to be skilled at hair braiding, you should be able to make your customers feel welcome, comfortable, and appreciated. Doing so can help your business, since customers may be more likely to come back if you make them feel welcome. Not only can you make your clients feel and look great, you can change your own life when you become a hair braider. Just look at the tale of Melony Armstrong at Smash Cut Culture. She used her long-held hair braiding skills to start a business and ensure her own financial freedom. Her efforts to make it easier for hair braiders to practice freely across the country have opened the field and made it possible for hair braiders in dozens of states to use the full range of their skills.

Contact the California State Board of Cosmetology

California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
Hair Braiding

How to Become a Hair Braider in Your State

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