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Posts Tagged ‘hair braiding’

States Should Create Shorter Licenses for Specialized Cosmetology Trades

Posted on: June 18th, 2012 by Heather No Comments

Hair Braiding LicenseToday’s job market requires certain skills to enter into the field of cosmetology. The same concept holds true when it comes to specialties within the beauty field, such as hair braiding or eyelash extensions. However, those who are interested in doing nothing but hair braiding are currently required to complete an entire cosmetology program. Throughout the duration of the program, these students are learning information and honing skills that they will never use in the course of their career, ranging from hair and nails to makeup and skin care. While these are great for someone interested in a career as a cosmetologist, if all you want to do is braid ethnic hair or do weaves or perform eyelash extensions or thread hair, this is an excessive cost and time investment for no reason.

States like Illinois are unweaving the tight regulations regarding hair braiders. The laws in Illinois once deemed it necessary for anyone working with hair to complete a 1500-hour cosmetology program. Since hair braiders generally only offer braiding, and not coloring or cutting, these students were spending more time and money than necessary to enter into the field.  No doubt many hair braiders opted not to bother. When the Illinois State Board of Cosmetology decided that hair braiders could practice their trade without taking a 1,500 cosmetology course, it made a wise decision to promote small businesses in the community. Now, hair braiders are able to practice their craft without fear of violating the law or having to pay thousands of dollars for unrelated coursework. Now, hair braiders can get down to business sooner, and with an educational background dealing with skills they will actually need.

Not only is taking an overabundance of classes and learning material you do not need a waste of time, it is also a huge waste of money, since the cost of a hair braiding class is much less than that of a cosmetology school program. Many states currently impose restrictions on the cosmetology niches that a person may practice. These regulations require a person to go through the full-length and full-price process of obtaining a cosmetology license in order to do only hair braiding or another niche area of cosmetology. For women and men who want to start their own small business in hair braiding, eyelash extensions, hair threading, or other beauty specialties, these regulations pose obstacles that prevent them from opening and operating their small businesses.

Fortunately, states like Illinois are beginning to understand an easy way to fix the problem. Instead of imposing burdensome regulations on individuals who practice hair braiding, they are deciding to create shorter licensing requirements for these individuals. In Illinois, a 300-hour course is now required for people who wish to practice hair braiding as their sole craft. Even better, those who have practiced hair braiding for years will be able to continue practicing by applying for the new license with work experience. The only caveat is that these people must apply for the license before the end of 2012. Otherwise, they will have to take the 300-hour course like everyone else.

Other states have also imposed a similar requirement. States like South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Ohio, Tennessee, Louisiana, New York, Florida, Virginia and Texas now give people the opportunity to obtain the short license for practicing niche beauty services. These states realize that forcing people to take 1,500 to 2,000 hour courses can be counterproductive to building up their communities’ economies. Instead, shorter licensing requirements for niche services allow everyone to improve the cosmetology industry in their own way and obtain the funds they need to make a living. Fostering small beauty businesses, such as hair braiding or eyelash extension shops, or the hair threading shops often seen at mall kiosks, also motivates other people in the community to start their own businesses.

Due to the current requirements imposed on hair braiders, those with small shops or little home-based businesses are being threatened with legal action unless they close their doors or attend cosmetology school. Small businesses are the foundation of a community, and these laws are taking bricks out of the foundation, which can wreak havoc on a community’s economy. Additionally, these small businesses create a domino effect. In other words, when one shop opens, it can lead to another one opening, and then another and you get the picture. In the long run, the shorter license requirements for specialized cosmetology trades are opening the doors for numerous business opportunities that will only keep expanding. A prime example of other businesses sprouting from one business occurred in Washington D.C. with Pamela Ferrell and her husband Talib-Din. The government tried to shut down their business for practicing without the proper licensure. However, Pamela and Talib-Din proved just what the power of one business can do. They have been running strongly for 25 years, and they provide training to numerous men and women over the years. Many of their own clients have even gone on to open their own businesses.

Overall, creating these shorter specialty beauty licenses will give individuals the chance to live out their dreams of performing niche beauty services and opening their own small businesses. People can save money by taking shorter courses at cosmetology schools and start legitimate careers more easily. Cosmetology schools may gain more business from people who otherwise wouldn’t have sought training and licensing. Licensing boards can earn more from licensing fees from people who otherwise would’ve skipped licensing. Communities will thrive with more small businesses. Beauty specialty licenses are a win-win-win-win situation.

Hot Hair Trend: The Best of Braids

Posted on: December 19th, 2011 by Becca No Comments

braid-hair-trend-ts82153398We touched on this in our holiday hair trends post, but it deserves a closer look: 2011 has been the boom year for the braid. Formerly regulated to the pigtails territory, the braid has bounced back and been integrated into a number of timeless, classy looks that look chic and effortless.

The Messy Bun-Braid
Taylor Swift wowed the crowd with her messy yet sophisticated bun-braid at the New York launch of her latest fragrance, Wonderstruck. This classy look is so easy that anyone can master it.

To pull off the bun-braid, begin by dividing your hair into three sections, with the outer side sections being smaller than the center section. Next, secure the middle and left sections into ponytails. Braid the right section, and wrap a band around the bottom. Repeat on the left side. You should now have two side braids with a ponytail in the middle.

At this point, you have several options for the center ponytail. You can opt for one loose braid or several smaller braids. Be sure to secure them at the bottom. Twist this center section of braided hair into a low bun. Allow it to be loose and slightly messy. Don’t worry about making it super tight. This helps to create a more romantic look. Finally, take the right braid and wrap it loosely around the messy bun. Do the same thing with the left braid. Secure your hair with bobby pins and spray as needed.

It is best to use clear, elastic bands at the bottom of the braids, as they blend in perfectly with your hair. You have a big more wiggle room with the bobby pins. Choose pins that match your hair color or add some flair with jeweled bobby pins that sparkle and shine.

Fish Ponytail Braid
This braid looks complicated but is actually quite simple. Start by securing your hair in a high ponytail. Next, divide your locks into two sections. Then take a small bundle of hair from the right, and pull it across to the middle. Do the same thing on the left side. Repeat this process all the way down the length of your ponytail.

The biggest challenge with this style is splitting the halves into smaller strands for braiding. Use a smoothing gel or paste to aid with this step.

Wraparound Headband Braid
This whimsical braid brings out your inner princess. You will need to separate your hair at your ear and running across the top of your head, brushing the top half toward your face and over to the side. This section is used to create the wraparound braid.

Braid your hair starting from your ear around the front of your head. Make sure that the braid is tight and close to your scalp. Using smaller strands of hair will help here. Once the braid reaches the opposite ear, secure it with bobby pins.

Bohemian Side Braid
Chic defines this versatile braid. Simply pull your locks to one side and braid away. You can use a fishtail or regular braid. Get fancy with multiple braids. The point is not to braid to tightly to maintain the “I didn’t spend much time getting ready” look.


Illinois Creates New Hair Braider License

Posted on: September 28th, 2011 by Heather 1 Comment

Professional Hair Braiding in IllinoisRemember when we brought you the news about Illinois tightening their hair-braiding laws back in August 2009? At the time, the Illinois State Board of Cosmetology was requiring a full 1500-hour cosmetology license to work as a professional hair braider. Of course many of us were in an uproar and were hoping for a compromise that allows hair braiders to take a much shorter braiding-specific training course.

Well the verdict is in, folks! According to this article the state of Illinois heard you, and they now allow hair braiders to apply for a new hair braider license!  The law took effect earlier this month, about two years after the initial controversy surfaced.

Even better? Experienced braiders who have been at it for years can apply for a license based on their experience in the field. FYI: This must be done before the end of 2012, so get those applications in! New braiders can get a hair braiding license with 300 hours of classroom and practical training.

We’re really proud of all the folks who stood up for the hair braiders’ cause, and so impressed with the Illinois cosmetology Board for listening to its constituents and accommodating this very important group of beauty professionals. Great work, everyone!

If you are interested in attending a beauty school in Illinois that offers a hair braiding program, search for schools near you and request more information from them to find out from each school whether they offer a 300-hour hair braiding program.

Review of Chris Rock’s “Good Hair”

Posted on: October 27th, 2009 by Beauty Schools Directory No Comments

good-hair-sit-back-and-relaxChris Rock’s three-year-old daughter Lola asked him, “Daddy, why don’t I have good hair?” This launched the comedian headfirst into the topic of ‘good hair’ – commonly thought of as straight, shiny, European-looking locks. This topic has fueled debates within the African American community for generations.

Rock records this search for truth in African American hair culture in Good Hair, a thought-provoking and entertaining documentary produced by HBO Films and directed by Jeff Stilson. Good Hair tackles the topics of texture, hair relaxing, weaves, and the booming financial business of African American hair care to explore the way that hairstyles impact the relationships, lifestyles, health, wallets, and self-esteem of African American women.

It’s a bold topic – how American culture defines beauty, and the lengths that women to which women will go to in order to conform to that standard. As cosmetologists, we have a hand in this. We know how expensive and painful weaves can be. We know that often, women look even more beautiful rockin’ their natural hair than getting it relaxed. But still, African American hair is a big business – with special standards, techniques and training for stylists.

What’s great about Good Hair is that it doesn’t point any fingers or take sides. The film advocates self-love and appreciation, no matter whether women choose natural or relaxed hair.

Have you seen Good Hair? What do you think?

Where Hair Extensions Come From

Posted on: October 21st, 2009 by Beauty Schools Directory 3 Comments

Hair Extensions from IndiaHave you ever wondered where hair extensions come from? According to, 1000 tons of human hair are imported into the U.S. every year. The finest quality hair comes from India.

One Indian landmark in particular is famous for exporting human hair. The Venkateswara Temple in Southern India earns around 18 million a year selling hair to exporters. As one of Hinduism’s holiest sites, worshipers to this temple leave an offering of their hair for Lord Venkateswara. Cutting off hair for religious reasons is part of a ritual called tonsuring.

Some salons sell this “temple hair” anywhere from $2000 to $4000 depending on the length of the extensions.
Hair from India is also collected by village women who pool their hair together and sell it to exporters. Other women collect hair after it falls out naturally and sell it.

If you want to learn how to do hair extensions and become a professional hairstylist, find cosmetology schools near you.

Illinois Tightens Hair Braiding Laws

Posted on: August 20th, 2009 by Heather 16 Comments

hair-braiding-illinois-cosmetology-lawSince 1985, Illinois has maintained that if you want to work in the cosmetology or beauty field, you must have a cosmetology license. In fact, all states require all cosmetologists be licensed to work on hair, nails and skin. But, when you offer such a niche service like hair braiding, that’s where the law becomes a little twisted, at least for some.

According to Illinois law and the Illinois State Board of Cosmetology License Requirements, anyone working with hair must take the required 1,500 hours of cosmetology training. That is putting some tight restrictions on hair braiders. They provide a service that is strictly braiding hair, and normally don’t offer any other service like hair cutting or coloring. However, the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation wants hair braiders to be licensed, and not for the reasons you may think.

When a beauty professional is licensed, they are protected by the law when a customer refuses to pay or writes bogus checks. But, it goes a little deeper than that – some believe that hair braiders need to be trained in a few core courses relating to the industry.

The United African Organization would like to see a compromise from the state that allows hair braiders courses only in sanitation and business training, which would be around 300 clocked hours of cosmetology school.

Up on the debate block for the fall is a law that would require hair braiders to complete 300 hours of training, which the courses would focus on blood-borne pathogens, recognizing scalp disease and sanitation practices.

What do you think? Should niche beauty services like hair braiding have specific cosmetology licensing requirements? Tell Beauty Schools Directory your views on this tangled matter.