How Long Does It Take to Become a Hairdresser?

Being a cosmetologist, and a hairdresser specifically, can be a very exciting career choice for those who love the beauty industry. If you’re interested in cosmetology, you should know a few things upfront. What conditions do you have to meet to get started? Are there required certifications? How exactly does one become a hairdresser? 


In this article, we will answer these questions plus one more: “How long does it take to become a hairdresser?”

Do I Need Schooling to Become a Hairdresser?

It’s the first step in answering the question “how long does it take to become a hairdresser”. Many people don’t realize this before looking into becoming a hairdresser, but you have to go to school and get certified before getting a license in most states. Before applying for hairdressing school, check to make sure you meet all of the enrollment requirements. These vary from state to state, so you’ll have to do a bit of research on the requirements for where you intend to practice. 


Once you know what you need to enroll, it’s time to begin the process of signing up for a state-approved hair stylist school and education program. Since most states have different requirements for getting your hairdresser license or passing the licensing exam, it’s important to double-check that the school you enroll in will adequately prepare you. 


Once you are enrolled in a state-approved school, you will be required to do more than just observe and read up on things. While you will learn a significant number of hair design essentials this way, it’s the hands-on practice that really teaches you what you need to know. 


Completing hairdressing school will take between one and two years, depending on the standards in your state. 

The Requirements for Enrolling in Hairdressing School

The Age Requirement

While this also varies from state to state, the minimum age requirement tends to be between 16 and 18, depending on what age your state views residents as legal adults. 


Earn and have Proof of your Highschool Diploma or GED

As with any other college or upper-level school, you have to finish your mandatory base schooling before they consider allowing you to attempt enrollment. However, there are some cases where younger adults are permitted to enroll, in which instance they will simply have to prove that they have passed the 10th grade. 


Living in the Right State

While this isn’t technically a requirement for enrolling in a hairdressing education program, you should remember that licensing requirements vary by state. It’s a good idea to learn in the same state you intend to practice in. If you have your heart set on studying in a different state, do your research and find a school that you know for sure teaches the same things you’ll need to know to pass your licensing exam. 


Tour the School and Meet Reps in Person

This part may not be necessary for all schools, but many require it. Before applying, you’ll have to schedule a meeting and get a feel for the program before sending in your application. Even if it’s not a requirement, a meeting is never a bad idea. 


Submitting an Application

Just like any other schooling you enter after graduating high school, you can’t simply hop in on a lecture one day. You must send in an application and prove to the school that you are a good candidate for their programs. 


Applying will require you to pay an application fee and provide personal information (including a government-issued ID and a social security number). 

Passing the Exam

The last step to answering your question, how long does it take to become a hairdresser? Once you have completed the mandatory schooling and hands-on training hours, you will now be allowed to sit in for your state-administered hair licensing exam. Don’t let it worry you, though. If you don’t pass the exam on the first try, most places will allow you to retake it as many times as you need. 


Each session takes around three and a half hours. While it’s not required, you may want to take a few days or weeks to study between exams if you don’t pass the first time. 

Let Career Beauty College Lead You to Your Dream Job

So, how long does it take to become a hairdresser? While it can take up to 24 months to complete beauty school, you can finish our training in as little as one year at Career Beauty college. Students must typically commit to 1,500 to 2,000 hours of stylist courses and training before they can graduate and attempt their hairdressing license exam. 


To learn more about cosmetology and the process of gaining your cosmetology license, fill out our contact form, and one of our advisors will get back to you shortly.