How To Become a Hairdresser, Hairstylist and Cosmetologist

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How Long Does It Take, What Degree Do You Need, and More

Hairdressers and Cosmetologists

Hairdressers and Cosmetologists provide beauty services, such as cutting, coloring, and styling hair, and massaging and treating scalp. May shampoo hair, apply makeup, dress wigs, remove hair, and provide nail and skincare services.

Becoming One
Post-secondary certificate
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth


What degree do you need

Recommended degree level

Post-Secondary Certificate

We did a survey to ask other Hairdressers, Hairstylists and Cosmetologists what degree they had when they became a Hairdresser, Hairstylist and Cosmetologist. Here are the results.
a Post-Secondary Certificate

High School Diploma

College Certificate

One of the most common questions that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become Hairdressers and Cosmetologists or what courses do I need to take.

We also asked Hairdressers and Cosmetologists what did they major in college or university and here are the top 5 most popular majors that came up.

Electrolysis or Electrology and Electrolysis Technician
Make-Up Artist or Specialist
Hair Styling and Hair Design
Permanent Cosmetics or Makeup and Tattooing

A high school diploma or equivalent is required for some positions. In addition, every state requires that Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists complete a program in a state-licensed barber or cosmetology school. Programs in hairstyling, skin care, and other personal appearance services are available in postsecondary vocational schools.

How hard is it

Not Too Hard

You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be a Hairdresser, Hairstylist and Cosmetologist. For example, an electrician must complete three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Careers in this difficulty category will usually need 1 or 2 years of on-the-job training and informal training with experienced workers. These careers usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Similar careers include hydroelectric production managers, travel agents, electricians, court reporters, and medical assistants.

Related work experience required
1 to 2 years

1 to 2 years


6 months to 1 year

Job training
Up to 1 month

Up to 1 month

6 months to 1 year


License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification

All states require Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists to be licensed. Qualifications for a license vary by state, but generally, a person must fulfill the following: minimum age of 16, high school diploma or equivalent and graduated from a state-licensed barber or cosmetology school.

Skills required

We asked other Hairdressers and Cosmetologists if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Active Listening what does this mean
2. Service Orientation what does this mean
3. Speaking what does this mean
4. Critical Thinking what does this mean
5. Active Learning what does this mean

= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need certain know-hows to excel at your job. Hairdressers and Cosmetologists are generally very knowledgeable in these 5 key areas.

1. Customer and Personal Service what does this mean
2. English Language what does this mean
3. Chemistry what does this mean
4. Administration and Management what does this mean
5. Education and Training what does this mean

Learn more about Hairdressers and Cosmetologists

Job Description
Requirements (You are here)

Related to Hairdressers, Hairstylists and Cosmetologists Requirements

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