To get licensed as a stylist, most states require you to be at least 16 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, and complete a state-licensed cosmetology program. It's important to check the licensing requirements in your state before selecting a school to complete your training. Some state cosmetology and barbering boards offer apprenticeship programs for those who want to gain early practical experience in the field. Students can often apply when they turn 16. After completing their apprenticeship and having reached the number of training hours required for their specialty, they are eligible to sit for the licensing exam.
American Association of Cosmetology Schools The AACS was founded in 1924 to support cosmetology students and schools in education and politics, elevating the industry as a whole. The organization provides relevant industry news, helps educators stay abreast of teaching practices and regulations, connects students to schools, hosts contests, offers scholarships, and more. All states require professional stylists to obtain a license; requirements vary by state. However, most require completing an approved cosmetology program and a licensing exam.
You must contact your local state licensing board to apply for a license. Being a stylist is a great way to pursue your creative and business dreams, but like most professions, it's not as easy as snapping your fingers, it takes a lot of work and dedication to learn how to become a stylist. In general, being accredited means that the school has been evaluated by an accrediting organization that has determined that the school maintains a certain level of educational standards. Programs at accredited schools will most likely prepare you better for state licensing exams (which we'll talk about later) and to become a stylist.
But sometimes longer programs offer training that shorter programs don't. On average, programs take 12 to 24 months to complete. But keep in mind that this will vary depending on the state you're in. In some states, programs will last 1000 hours, for example, while in others they will last 1500 hours.
Most programs require between 1000 and 1500 hours of training or more. While many programs seek to incorporate training hours into the program's regular curriculum, some may allow students to complete their training hours while working in a beauty salon licensed in the state and approved for training. Having an industry mentor to help you learn how to become a stylist will give you someone who gives you new perspectives on your challenges and from whom you can learn. We recommend that you seek to connect with a mentor if possible.
The most important thing to remember when learning how to become a stylist is that creating clientele is being patient with yourself. These relationships aren't built and strengthened overnight, they take time. We mentioned that the average stylist or cosmetology program takes 12 to 24 months, but how long does it take to become a stylist? Because, as you have seen before, there are many things involved in the process beyond schooling. If you wanted to work as a barber or stylist, all you needed was enthusiasm and some time as an apprentice.
For decades there were no state requirements. You didn't need a license or studies. There were no exams or fees.