The art and style of hair braiding has its origins as a traditional African method of hairstyling where it was passed down from generation to generation. Over the past couple of decades, it has become a very popular styling technique in the United States and is now is being taught at some schools of cosmetology.
If you have a good artistic eye, and dexterous fingers that are good at fine detail work, and you enjoy helping people look and feel their most attractive, hair braiding in the District of Columbia could be a very good career choice for you in the beauty industry!
The District of Columbia regulates hair braiding as a form of cosmetology, and thus, you must be licensed in cosmetology in order to practice it. To obtain a license in cosmetology you are required to complete 1500 hours of coursework at an accredited institution, usually a school of cosmetology. When you have completed your training, you will be eligible to take the licensing exam consisting of both a knowledge (written) and practical component. The test is administered by the Washington DC Board of Cosmetology. You will also be required to complete six hours of continuing education in order to renew your license. Since you will want to stay current in your field, that should be an easy requirement to fulfill.
In the District of Columbia, there is a high demand for people who can braid hair using the five most common hair braiding techniques: weaving, cornrowing, braiding, twisting, and locking. Many people seek out a procedure that offers an alternative to the use of harsh chemicals in processes such as hair straightening, and braiding offers exactly such a chemical-free procedure. You will learn about the products and tools used to perform these skills, and about sterilization and sanitation methods that comply with local regulations. You will watch videos and live demonstration of all the cosmetology techniques you learn about, and eventually be permitted to work on real people. To obtain a license in cosmetology you are required to complete 1500 hours of coursework at an accredited institution, usually a school of cosmetology. In your program you will learn about many aspects of cosmetology and hairdressing, including hair cutting, coloring, highlighting, and styling, as well as braiding.
Cosmetologists and hairdressers in the District of Columbia reported earning an average of $35,000 in 2013, the last year for which data were available according to O*Net. Of course, hair braiding is a specialty that not everyone can perform and hence, it may command a premium fee. Plus, many hair braiders open their own salons, making it even more likely that your income will be good. The field of cosmetology and hairdressing is projected to increase between 8% and 14% between 2012 and 2022, making it a bright outlook for new graduates and people wishing to move up in the field.
Hair braiding is a very painstaking skill requiring attention to detail and excellent fine motor skills. While the number of braids a particular client will want certainly varies, many clients choose to have their entire heads braided. This process can take several hours, although the results last a long time. It means that on a typical day, hair braiders may work with just a few clients. They may also apply hair extensions, and these are very often used in the braiding process. Scheduling flexibility is possible, although youll need to be sensitive to the scheduling needs of your clients, which means you may need to work some weekends and evenings. Still, the career can be a good one for someone who has other obligations that need to be worked in to their schedule.
Washington, DC State Board of Barber Cosmetology
1100 4th Street SW
Washington, DC 20024
Board of Commission Phone Number: 202-442-4320
Fax Number: 202-698-4329
E-mail Address: SheldonJ.Brown@dc.gov
The Washington D.C. State Board of Cosmetology can help you with replacing a lost cosmetology license, updating change of name or change of address information, and acquiring out-of-state and other useful forms, as well as answer additional questions about obtaining a District of Columbia cosmetology license.
The nation’s capital adheres to expressing personal style in ways that
range from polished to flamboyant. This is also true when it comes to the
distinctive hair braiding styles on display there. Hair professionals in the
District Of Columbia that incorporate hair braiding into their work obtain
data from these institutions.
D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
District Of Columbia Board of Barbers and Cosmetology
Professional Beauty Association