Hair Braiding Schools in Massachusetts

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

Browse All Hair Braiding Schools in Massachusetts

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How to Become a Hair Braider in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Hair Braiding Careers At a Glance
  • Average salary for hair braiding in Massachusetts is $35,370 .
  • There is a predicted 6.7% job increase between 2012 - 2022.

Cornrows, also known as rows or braids in the Caribbean are a traditional Middle Eastern and African form of hair styling where the hair is braided very close to the scalp to produce a continuous, raised row. Usually done in lines, they may also be designed in elaborate geometric patterns. These and other braiding techniques make up the work of hair braiders; hair stylists who specialize in applying the techniques of this age-old method to create a hairdo that is long-lasting, distinctive, and attractive, requiring very little maintenance. Sometimes shells, threads, or other objects are woven into the rows, and sometimes hair extensions are added before braiding. Cornrows and other braiding styles may be worn by men or women, and by children. It is a skill that has been handed down in families, from one generation to the next, and has gained in popularity in the United States during the past twenty years or so, particularly in areas with large African American populations. Cornrows and other braiding styles are often used as an alternative to hair straightening, a procedure which uses strong chemicals to accomplish its objective. Many people do not wish to expose themselves to these chemicals, and choose hair braiding as a natural alternative.

State License Requirements

In Massachusetts, you will need to be licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Cosmetologists in order to be able to practice hair braiding. To be eligible for the licensing exam, you must complete 1000 hours of classroom training at an accredited institution. This may be a school of cosmetology, a community college, or a vocational and technical high school. Once you have passed the exam and received your license, you will need to renew it every two years.

Education Details

Hair braiding is taught as a subspecialty in schools of cosmetology, hair dressing, and hair styling. There, you will learn all aspects of hair care and design, from shampooing and conditioning, cutting and styling, coloring and highlighting using foils and caps, to perming and straightening. Much of your instruction will come from watching skilled professionals perform these tasks, both live, and by video. There will be lots of demonstrations and opportunities to work on mannequin heads before you are permitted to begin working on live clients. Your course work will also cover basics of skin, hair, and nails, both healthy and diseased. You'll get experience practicing with the tools used by hair stylists. And you will learn about the safety, sanitation, and sterilization regulations applicable in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Finally, most programs address some of the business aspects of the cosmetology business, such as finance, marketing, and advertising.

Massachusetts Hair Braiding Careers


Average yearly salary for hair braiding in Massachusetts

Cosmetologists, hair dressers, and hair stylists in Massachusetts earned an average salary of $28,200 in 2013, mostly from fees and tips ( This represents the average for all hair stylists, regardless of their specialty. As a hair braider, you will have a particularly marketable skill that is specifically sought out by your clientele. It is possible that your income will be higher, depending upon where you work, your reputation, whether you have a significant client base that keeps coming back, and more. The need for hair braiders is growing, so getting a job once you complete your training should be fairly easy.

Hair braiding is a skill that requires an artistic eye and deft hands, capable of doing painstaking work in a small area. If you are braiding an entire head of hair, especially if you are adding hair extensions, the work on a single client could take several hours. Thus, you are likely to see fewer clients for longer periods of time during the course of the day. Spending this much time with a client means you will have significant opportunity to interact with them and thus, you need outstanding people skills. Most hair braiders begin their careers by working for a salon or spa, often in a small private area or room where they can concentrate on what they are doing without interruption. Working with individual clients gives you some scheduling flexibility, so you should be able to work your outside commitments around your work hours without much problem. Some hair braiders go on eventually to open their own hair braiding studio or salon. This enables them to work as small business owners, managing the business as well as performing the art of hair braiding on clients. They also get to enjoy the benefits of owning the business, and experience the responsibilities. If you are attracted to the idea of a career in cosmetology that gives you a specialty niche — a type of hair styling that not everybody does, but that takes artistry and good hand-eye coordination, you may enjoy a career as a hair braider in Massachusetts. It is a highly specialized skill that requires a highly specialized practitioner. Use our directory to contact schools in your area today!

Contact the Massachusetts State Board of Cosmetology

Board of Registration of Cosmetology and Barbering

For beauty care specialists, hair braiding is one of their more requested services. In Massachusetts, it fits in with a rapid period of growth for the industry on a whole. Those eager to become adept hair braiders begin the process by researching these organizations.

American Association of Cosmetology Schools
Associated Hair Professionals

Hair Braiding

How to Become a Hair Braider in Your State

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