Hair Braiding

If you've ever seen a fully-braided head of hair, you know how incredibly impressive it can be! While all beauty careers require nimble hands and an eye for detail, hair braiding requires even more dexterity than most cosmetology careers. However, once you learn how to braid hair, you can create beautiful, unique styles that show off your clients' personal tastes

Hair braiding is often a personal expression of heritage, background, and personal style, so the skills you learn may vary depending on which class you attend. In fact, the types of braiding you learn can even vary from instructor to instructor! Let us help you find the right hair braiding program in California today.

State License Requirements
Not Regulated

While some states do license hair braiders, California has no licensing requirements for hair braiders. You do not need a cosmetology license or specialty hair braiding license to work in this field. Still, if you do not yet know how to do different braids, hands-on training is an essential part of getting clients and exploring career opportunities.

Learn more about cosmetology licensing:

Education Details

Like most beauty specialties that focus on hair design and hair care, hair braiding in California requires a strong understanding of different hair types, textures, and lengths. Before you even learn about different types of braiding, you may learn how to identify a client's hair type, determine what treatments have been used on a client's hair, and figure out how to manage highly-textured hair. Once you feel confident in your ability to communicate with clients and assess your hair, it's time to master hair braiding. Lots of cultures have their own hair braiding style, so the more you learn, the more different people you may be able to serve! Commonly taught skills include cornrows, twists, knots, and hair locking. You might also learn how to work with hair weaves. More specialized types of hair braiding include fishtails, Senegalese twists, tree braids, and latchhook. Hands-on experience is a must in this field, so get ready to work your fingers.

License Renewal
Not Regulated
License Renewal Hours
License Renewal Period
Job Outlook Increase
Between 2012 - 2022

Hair braiders fall into the category of hair stylists, hair dressers, and cosmetologists. It can be difficult to figure out the specific job outlook and salary for hair braiders, since it's such a specific career. This type of hair design is rapidly growing in popularity across the United States, so the job outlook may be beneficial for those who are willing to learn about multiple types of braids and make their clients happy. The job outlook for California cosmetology professionals is very promising! O*Net expects a 19% increase in California cosmetology jobs between 2010 and 2020. Many communities only have a few hair braiders, and your job outlook may be better if you establish yourself in a community that has fewer hair braiding professionals. According to O*Net, most cosmetology professionals in this state earn between $17,700 and $43,800 per year, with an average salary of $22,900 per year. Many hair braiders are self-employed or business owners, which can significantly affect your income. In the state of California, hair braiding is not regulated or licensed. As a result, you do not have to worry about getting certified via the Board of Cosmetology.

Working as a Hair Braider

When you begin your career as a hair braider, get ready for a social job that will put you in close contact with many great clients. Braiding someone's hair isn't like a hair cut; you can't finish in 30 minutes and send them on their way. Rather, braiding a whole head of hair can often take hours. While working with a client's hair, you may learn about their family, their job, and their struggles. Not only do you have to be skilled at hair braiding, you should be able to make your customers feel welcome, comfortable, and appreciated. Doing so can help your business, since customers may be more likely to come back if you make them feel welcome. Not only can you make your clients feel and look great, you can change your own life when you become a hair braider. Just look at the tale of Melony Armstrong at Smash Cut Culture. She used her long-held hair braiding skills to start a business and ensure her own financial freedom. Her efforts to make it easier for hair braiders to practice freely across the country have opened the field and made it possible for hair braiders in dozens of states to use the full range of their skills.

State board Contact Information

California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
PO Box 944226
Sacramento, CA94244-2260
2420 Del Paso Road, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95834
Cosmetology Board Phone Number: 1-800-952-5210
Fax Number: 916-575-7281

The California State Board of Cosmetology is a valuable resource and can answer additional questions about obtaining a California state cosmetology license.

People in California are all about having a fantastic personal style. With
that in mind, they place their trust in hair care professionals to bring that
forth. These individuals employ various means, including hair braiding.
Eager parties check with these groups to learn more.

California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
Professional Beauty Association
Association of Cosmetology Salon Professionals


Find the Beauty Schools in California that interest you below,

Avalon School of Cosmetology

2318 Central Avenue,
Alameda, CA 94501

Program: Cosmetology

Milan Institute

2822 F Street,
Bakersfield, CA 93301

Program: Cosmetology

Newberry School of Beauty

16852 Devonshire Street,
Chatsworth, CA 91344

Program: Cosmetology

Bellus Academy- South San Diego County Campus

970 Broadway,
Chula Vista, CA 91911

Program: Cosmetology

W Academy of Salon + Spa

520 San Ramon Valley Blvd,
Danville, CA 94526

Program: Cosmetology

Bellus Academy- East San Diego County Campus

1073 East Main Street,
El Cajon, CA 92021

Program: Cosmetology

Milan Institute of Cosmetology

47120 Dune Palms,
La Quinta, CA 92253

Program: Cosmetology

Aveda Institute - Los Angeles

10935 Weyburn Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Program: Cosmetology

Milan Institute - Merced

780 Loughborough Drive,
Merced, CA 95340

Program: Cosmetology

Paul Mitchell the School Modesto

3100 Mchenry Ave,
Modesto, CA 95350

Program: Cosmetology

Bellus Academy- North San Diego County Campus

13266 Poway Road,
Poway, CA 92064

Program: Cosmetology

Blake Austin College Beauty Academy

1679 East Monte Vista Suite 200,
Vacaville, CA 95688

Program: Cosmetology

Lu Ross Academy of Beauty & Health

470 East Thompson Boulevard,
Ventura, CA 93001

Program: Cosmetology