How To Become A Licensed Hair Braider: Programs, Certification & Salary

If you are passionate about braiding hair but do not have the time and money for a cosmetology school, then becoming a licensed hair braider might be your best option.

This article provides the information you need on how to become a licensed hair braider and what it takes to succeed at it.

Hair Braider Job Description

Hair braiders are cosmetologists who specialize in the art of braiding hair. They use their expertise to create unique looks for clients, whether it’s a simple straight braid or intricate styles like the dreadlocks hairstyle that’s become popular lately.

Braiding hair is a type of styling that involves weaving, twisting, and locking braids together using various types of fabric and threading needles through each section of hair to create an intricate design.

Braiding can also be considered a form of decoration as well; many women prefer having their personal touch added to their locks before going out with friends or family members at night instead of just wearing something pre-made off-the-shelf from stores like Walgreens or Target.

Hair braiding professionals work in hair salons, sometimes as one of a group of general cosmetologists and sometimes in a braiding salon dedicated to braiding. 

Many braiding jobs take several hours to complete, while clients will also return for touch-ups to their style. 

If you’re interested in learning how to become a licensed braider or just want information on how to get a braiding license, here’s some basic information to get you started.

Hair Braiding Programs, Courses & Certification

Braiding and related skills are taught as a component of general cosmetology programs rather than in specific hair braiding programs. Specific courses may focus on braiding for different ethnic hair textures and styles. 

Hair braiding certification courses 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. In hair braiding school, students learn a variety of skills, including:

  • Weaving or intertwining hair
  • Working with various styles 
  • Scalp care
  • Sanitation
  • Professional procedures

Cosmetologists in the United States are required to be licensed, so if you can braid without a license, yes.

Despite all these, it would be great to let you know that although Hair braiders do not need to obtain a license, some states do require specialty certification.

Most states have passed laws allowing licensed hairdressers and cosmetologists to perform hair braiding services in their states. However, there are still many other places in the country where this is not the case.

To qualify for a license, you need to meet the following basic requirements:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Hold a high school diploma or GED.
  • Have graduated from a state-licensed cosmetology school.

In order to maintain their hair braiding license, cosmetologists must regularly complete continuing education requirements by attending courses and/or workshops.

In order to continue working, it is necessary to renew the knitting license. Some continuing education offers are available in hair braiding.

Cosmetology licensure exam preparation programs typically consist of a mixture of classroom and hands-on training.

Becoming a licensed hair braider is a rewarding career. The job market is dynamic, and there are many opportunities for growth in the field.

You can succeed by doing what you love while still having the flexibility to pursue other interests or work remotely if necessary.

Has your passion for styling been rekindled after years of being away from it? You can use that experience as motivation when applying for positions at salons and other businesses looking for new talent.

Hair Braider Salary

The average salary for a hair braider ranges from $26,000 to $69,000 per year. The higher your location and the more experience you have, the higher your salary will be.

For example, if you live in a larger city with more affluent residents than in smaller towns and suburbs, then it’s likely that those who choose this profession can earn more money than their counterparts in small towns or rural areas.

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How To Become A Licensed Braider: State-Specific Information

How long does it take to get a braiding license? The answer depends on the type of course and the state. Here is some information for several states.


The Minnesota Board of Barber and Cosmetologist Exams requires hair braiders to complete 30 hours of health, hygiene, and safety training. Specific topics include virus and bacterial reproduction, sterilization, blood-borne pathogens, proper hygiene, and decontamination. 

Students are supervised by an instructor and assigned practical exercises in sanitation. Minnesota braid license renewal is every three years.

Wisconsin, California, And Mississippi

Some states do not license or regulate hair braiding. For example, Wisconsin does not offer a hair braiding curriculum, and California does not regulate hair braiding. 

Until 2004, hair braiding was not part of the cosmetology curriculum in Mississippi, and anyone who wanted to work as a hair braider had to complete the cosmetology education required for licensure even though hair braiding was not part of the curriculum, according to the Institute for Justice. 

In 2005, after a lawsuit was filed against the state, novice hair weavers could obtain licenses by paying a license fee to the health board and passing a hygiene and health guidelines test.


In Florida, hair braiders complete a two-day course consisting of 16 hours of training in sanitation, sterilization, scalp disorders, HIV/AIDS, and hair braiding laws. 

After completing the two-day course, braiders must register with the Department of Trade and Professional Regulation and pay an application fee. While waiting for the registration to be issued, hair braiders can start working legally.

Knitters must renew their licenses every two years by completing 16 hours of continuing education.


Do You Need A License To Braid In TN?

TN has received permission to issue a Tennessee Hair Braider registration for 16 health and hygiene training hours. This certificate is required for hair braiding in Tennessee.

Do Braiders Need A License In Colorado?

States that do not require braid hair licenses are Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, and much more.

Do Braiders Need A License In Indiana?

In the state of Indiana, hair braiders must be licensed as cosmetologists by the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, State Board of Barbers, and Cosmetologists. 

This requires 1,500 hours of training at an accredited cosmetology school, which can be either a cosmetology school or a community college.

How Do You Become A Certified Braider In Tennessee?

To register a student as a hair braider, go to the Cosmetology and Barber Examiners website, select Apply/Renew License, and attach training documentation. The registration fee is $30.00. This registration must be renewed every two years.

How Do I Start A Braiding Business?

Research other hair salons in your area and try to find out what makes them stand out.

Can You Do Hair In Nc Without A License?

Services provided in licensed beauty arts stores must be performed by licensed cosmetologists, manicurists, estheticians, and natural hair stylists. Practicing without a license will result in civil penalties.

Do You Need A License To Do Hair In NC?

To work as a cosmetologist, hair stylist, nail technician, esthetician, or any other career in the field, you must first obtain a cosmetology license.

How Long Is Hair School In North Carolina?

 52 weeks | 1,500 hours of cosmetology school will prepare you to pass the North Carolina licensing exam.

What Language Do African Braiders Speak?

Most African braiders come from French-speaking African countries, so if they speak English, it’s often their third language. 

Wolof or French tends to be the lingua franca inside the salon, and English is only used when pricing or in short exchanges with clients.

How Much Does Cosmetology School Cost In Colorado?

You can expect to pay between $15,000 and $20,000 for cosmetology school. These costs cover application fees, tuition, kit, supplies, and textbooks.


Hair braiders are a fast-growing industry, and they are in demand across the country. If you want to be a licensed hair braider, you can start at any point in your career. 

You don’t need formal training or education to become one; you only need passion and desire. 

However, remember that while there are no state requirements for licensing as a hair braider, many states require that stylists take an exam or go through other programs before being allowed to practice on customers in public places like salons and spas.

We do hope this article has proved helpful. Good Luck!

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