We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Different Types of Hairdressing Qualifications?

Lainie Petersen
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Hairdressing qualifications vary among jurisdictions and the types of hair services that the hairdresser wishes to offer. In many places, a person must be licensed by a government agency before he or she can cut, color, or style hair professionally. This licensure process usually requires the aspiring hairdresser to complete an educational program, an apprenticeship, or a combination of the two. Other types of hairdressing qualifications include professional certifications in which a hairdresser demonstrates competence in certain areas of hair care, coloring, or styling and receives recognition from a trade association or industry vendor.

In jurisdictions that license the practice of hairdressing, those who wish to practice the trade may be able to choose from two or more licensing programs. For example, in the United States someone who performs hair care services may hold a cosmetologist’s license, a barber’s license, or even a natural hair braiding license. Each one of these hairdressing qualifications is distinct, with its own licensing criteria and scope of practice.

While the exact requirements and practice limitations vary by the laws in the state where a person chooses to work, in general cosmetologists must complete an educational program that requires at least nine months of full-time study. Cosmetologists are permitted to perform a wide array of beauty services, including cutting, styling, and performing chemical services on the hair, as well as non-hair services such as manicures, facials, and makeup applications. Barbers, on the other hand, typically have a shorter training course and are primarily trained to perform hair care services. Natural hair braiders may have the most limited scope of practice, as they are trained primarily in the art of hair braiding and are thus typically not licensed to cut or color hair.

In addition to educational hairdressing qualifications, some hair care professionals may also complete an apprenticeship. In the United Kingdom, an apprenticeship is a common way of earning hairdressing qualifications that lead to registration as a professional hairdresser. Some jurisdictions in the United States also offer the option of participating in a cosmetology or barbering apprenticeship as an alternative path toward licensure. In addition, new hairdressers may have the option of participating in an apprenticeship after completing their initial training, which can help them to improve their skills and marketability.

Some professional associations for hairdressers, as well as manufacturers of various types of hair care equipment and products, sponsor certification programs. These programs award credentials to hairdressers who have achieved specific skills or proficiency in the use of proprietary equipment and products. While these hairdressing qualifications typically do not affect a hairdresser’s licensing status, a hairdresser can include them on his or her resume or curriculum vitae as professional achievements.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen , Former Writer
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.

Discussion Comments

Lainie Petersen

Lainie Petersen

Former Writer

Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
Learn more
Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.