Hair Braiding Licensure and Certification Information

Like all cosmetologists, those specializing in hair braiding must obtain licensure. Continue reading below to learn more about state and national requirements for hair braiding licensure and certification.

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Examples of Hair Braiding Licensing Requirements by State

Florida

In Florida, hair braiders take a 2-day course consisting of 16 hours of training in sanitation, sterilization, scalp disorders, HIV/AIDS and hair braiding laws. After completing the 2-day course, hair braiders must then register with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and pay an application fee. While waiting for their registration to be issued, hair braiders can begin working legally. Hair braiders must renew their licenses every two years by completing 16 hours of continuing education units.

Minnesota

The Minnesota Board of Barber and Cosmetologist Examiners requires hair braiders to complete 30 hours of training in the areas of health, sanitation and safety. Specific topics covered include virus and bacteria reproduction, sterilization, blood-borne pathogens, proper sanitation and decontamination. Students are supervised by an instructor and are assigned hands-on exercises in sanitation. License renewal for hair braiders in Minnesota is every three years.

Wisconsin and Mississippi

Some states don't license or regulate hair braiding. Wisconsin, for example, does not offer a hair braiding curriculum. Up until 2004, hair braiding was not part of the cosmetology curriculum in Mississippi, and therefore cosmetologists could not be licensed in the area of hair braiding, according to the Institute for Justice (www.instituteforjustice.org). In 2005, after a lawsuit was filed against the state for not offering a hair braiding curriculum, aspiring hair braiders became able to gain licensed by paying a licensing fee to the Board of Health and taking a test on sanitation and health guidelines.

Certification

Both states and schools sometimes use certification to refer to the same type of process as licensure, but the two terms actually have different meanings. Certification generally refers to a sometimes voluntary process workers go through to show they've met certain professional qualifications. Licensure, on the other hand, refers to the laws governing a particular occupation that workers must abide by.

Hair braiding 'certification' courses, then, actually prepare students for state cosmetology licensing exams. Hair braiding can either be found as a topic in basic and advanced hair styling courses or in a course of its own, focusing on topics such as scalp care, basic braiding styles, sanitation and professional procedures. Hands-on training may also be included in these courses as well.

An Overview of Hair Braiding

Hair braiding is the process of weaving or intertwining the hair in a variety of styles, including cornrows, locks (or locs), twists, knots and single braids. Hair stylists often learn these techniques at cosmetology schools. They also learn about regulations concerning sanitation and safety issues.

Cosmetologists in the United States are required to be licensed. Each state sets its own rules for licensing. In general, hair braiders must be at least 16 years old, hold a high school diploma or GED and graduate from a state-licensed cosmetology school.

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  • School locations:
    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Milwaukee Area Technical College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Cosmetology and Related Services
        • Hair Design
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
      • Funeral Related Services
  • School locations:
    • Puerto Rico (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at D'Mart Institute include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Cosmetology and Related Services
        • Aesthetician and Skin Care
        • Barber and Hair Cutting Services
        • Hair Design
        • Nail Technician - Manicurist
        • Permanent Cosmetics and Tattooing
  • School locations:
    • North Dakota (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of North Dakota include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Texas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of North Texas include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at East Tennessee State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Macon State College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Grand Valley State University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at San Diego State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Michigan State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Osteopathic Medicine - DO
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
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