Hair braiding is a traditional skill that has its roots in Africa, and that has been handed down from generation to generation for centuries. In the past twenty years or so, it has become a popular hairstyling alternative in the United States.
Many individuals seek alternatives to the caustic chemicals used in most hair straightening products, and hair braiding provides just such an alternative in a long-lasting, easy-care, and attractive, distinctive style.
In most states, hair braiding comes under the jurisdiction of whatever governmental agency regulates hairdressing and hairstyling. In Hawaii that would be the Hawaii Board of Hairdressing and Cosmetology. To be eligible for your license in Hawaii, you will need to complete 1800 course hours in cosmetology, hairstyling, and hairdressing. As an alternative, you may choose to apprentice with an experienced hairstylist who specializes in hair braiding, in which case you must log 3600 hours of supervised practice to be eligible for your state license. The licensing exam has both a theoretical (written), and a practical (skills) portion. When you have passed the exam and paid the fee, you will receive your license. Licenses must be renewed every two years.
Many schools of cosmetology have courses in hair braiding. Your curriculum will include general hairdressing and hairstyling, but also specialty training in the five different types of braiding: braiding, cornrowing, weaving, twisting, and locking, plus you will learn about the special care needed to keep a braided hairstyle looking fresh and attractive.
Licenses must be renewed every two years.
According to statistics from O*Net, the average salary earned by hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists in Hawaii in 2013 was $29,500, considerably more than on the mainland. Of course, your earnings will depend on several factors, such as how many years experience you have, and whether you have built up a regular customer base, among others. You also may receive different fees for work done on local Hawaiian residents and visitors who vacation on one of the islands throughout the year. Since hair braiding is a specialty skill, you may be able to command a higher fee than for many other hair services.
Most hair braiders work in a spa or salon setting, although, on Hawaii, it would not be uncommon to find them employed at some of the higher-end hotels as well, where they would cater to affluent visitors. Hair braiding is labor-intensive work, and braiding a full head of hair can take several hours. Thus, many hair braiders see only a relatively few clients each day, but earn a higher fee for their services. Work is usually done by appointment, so you will have flexibility in your schedule to work around other commitments such as family and volunteer work. Still, you will need to be available when your clients wish to see you, making it likely that you will work at least some evenings and weekends. Many hair braiders start out working in a beauty salon and eventually open up their own hair braiding salon. To do that, you would most likely need additional training in a variety of business skills.
Hawaii Board of Barbering & Cosmetology
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801
Fax Number: 808-586-3031
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hawaii State Board of Cosmetology can help answer additional questions about obtaining a Hawaii state cosmetology license.
The state of Hawaii has seen a sharp rise in the amount of beauty care
professionals over the past six years. Among that number are hair stylists
who are well-versed in different varieties including intricate forms of
hair braiding. All professionals consult with these organizations.