Hair Braiding

Cornrows, also known as rows or braids in the Caribbean are a traditional Middle Eastern and African form of hair styling where the hair is braided very close to the scalp to produce a continuous, raised row. Usually done in lines, they may also be designed in elaborate geometric patterns. These and other braiding techniques make up the work of hair braiders; hair stylists who specialize in applying the techniques of this age-old method to create a hairdo that is long-lasting, distinctive, and attractive, requiring very little maintenance. Sometimes shells, threads, or other objects are woven into the rows, and sometimes hair extensions are added before braiding.

Cornrows and other braiding styles may be worn by men or women, and by children. It is a skill that has been handed down in families, from one generation to the next, and has gained in popularity in the United States during the past twenty years or so, particularly in areas with large African American populations. Cornrows and other braiding styles are often used as an alternative to hair straightening, a procedure which uses strong chemicals to accomplish its objective. Many people do not wish to expose themselves to these chemicals, and choose hair braiding as a natural alternative.

State License Requirements

In Massachusetts, you will need to be licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Cosmetologists in order to be able to practice hair braiding. To be eligible for the licensing exam, you must complete 1000 hours of classroom training at an accredited institution. This may be a school of cosmetology, a community college, or a vocational and technical high school. Once you have passed the exam and received your license, you will need to renew it every two years.

Education Details

Hair braiding is taught as a subspecialty in schools of cosmetology, hair dressing, and hair styling. There, you will learn all aspects of hair care and design, from shampooing and conditioning, cutting and styling, coloring and highlighting using foils and caps, to perming and straightening. Much of your instruction will come from watching skilled professionals perform these tasks, both live, and by video. There will be lots of demonstrations and opportunities to work on mannequin heads before you are permitted to begin working on live clients. Your course work will also cover basics of skin, hair, and nails, both healthy and diseased. You’ll get experience practicing with the tools used by hair stylists. And you will learn about the safety, sanitation, and sterilization regulations applicable in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Finally, most programs address some of the business aspects of the cosmetology business, such as finance, marketing, and advertising.

License Renewal
License Renewal Hours
License Renewal Period
Job Outlook Increase
Between 2012 - 2022

Cosmetologists, hair dressers, and hair stylists in Massachusetts earned an average salary of $28,200 in 2013, mostly from fees and tips ( This represents the average for all hair stylists, regardless of their specialty. As a hair braider, you will have a particularly marketable skill that is specifically sought out by your clientele. It is possible that your income will be higher, depending upon where you work, your reputation, whether you have a significant client base that keeps coming back, and more. The need for hair braiders is growing, so getting a job once you complete your training should be fairly easy.

Working as a Hair Braider

Hair braiding is a skill that requires an artistic eye and deft hands, capable of doing painstaking work in a small area. If you are braiding an entire head of hair, especially if you are adding hair extensions, the work on a single client could take several hours. Thus, you are likely to see fewer clients for longer periods of time during the course of the day. Spending this much time with a client means you will have significant opportunity to interact with them and thus, you need outstanding people skills. Most hair braiders begin their careers by working for a salon or spa, often in a small private area or room where they can concentrate on what they are doing without interruption. Working with individual clients gives you some scheduling flexibility, so you should be able to work your outside commitments around your work hours without much problem. Some hair braiders go on eventually to open their own hair braiding studio or salon. This enables them to work as small business owners, managing the business as well as performing the art of hair braiding on clients. They also get to enjoy the benefits of owning the business, and experience the responsibilities. If you are attracted to the idea of a career in cosmetology that gives you a specialty niche – a type of hair styling that not everybody does, but that takes artistry and good hand-eye coordination, you may enjoy a career as a hair braider in Massachusetts. It is a highly specialized skill that requires a highly specialized practitioner. Use our directory to contact schools in your area today!

State board Contact Information

Massachusetts Board of Registration of Cosmetologists
1000 Washington Street, Suite 710
Boston, MA 02118
Phone Number: 617-727-9940
Fax Number: 617-727-1627
E-mail Address:

The Massachusetts State Board of Cosmetology can help you with replacing a lost cosmetology license, or updating a change of name or address information, as well as answer additional questions about obtaining your Massachusetts cosmetology license.

For beauty care specialists, hair braiding is one of their more requested services.
In Massachusetts, it fits in with a rapid period of growth for the industry on a
whole. Those eager to become adept hair braiders begin the process by
researching these organizations.

Massachusetts Board of Barber Registry and Cosmetology
American Association of Cosmetology Schools
Associated Hair Professionals



Find the Beauty Schools in Massachusetts that interest you below,

Mildred Elley

100 West Street,
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Program: Cosmetology

Mildred Elley has been a provider of quality higher education since 1917, where it was founded in the Capital District of New York. We have 3 conveniently located campus locations in Albany, NY, Mildred Elley has been a provider of quality higher education since 1917, where it was founded in the Capital District of New York. We have 3 conveniently located campus locations in Albany, NY, NYC Metro, NY and Pittsfield, MA with online options as well. Our campuses feature student-run massage therapy clinics at Albany, Pittsfield and New York City Metro campuses, and a cosmetology clinic at the Pittsfield campus. We offer over 20 Degree and Certificate programs with classes in the day, evening, and weekends. Financial Aid and Scholarships are available for those who qualify. We are dedicated to seeing our students succeed offering Lifetime Job Placement Assistance Mildred Elley is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Mildred Elley's Albany, New York Campus is approved by the New York State Board of Regents to offer the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) and Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) degrees. Mildred Elley's NYC Metro Campus is approved by the New York State Board of Regents to offer the Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) degree. Both campuses are also approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED), Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR)—formerly VESID. Mildred Elley is also registered with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Office For program details and disclosures visit the Mildred Elley website   Mildred Elley - Pittsfield, MA Campus Mildred Elley's Pittsfield, Massachusetts Campus is licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Office of Private Occupational School Education, Division of Professional Licensure. Mildred Elley - Pittsfield, MA is also licensed to operate as a Cosmetology school and the Cosmetology program is approved by the Board of Registration of Cosmetologists of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The campus is also approved for the training of the Veterans of the Armed Forces and JPTA participants.   Programs Massage Therapy – CERT Campus: Albany, NY Mildred Elley's programs in Massage Therapy offer students the education, practice, and skills necessary to satisfy the academic requirements to qualify for the New York State Massage Therapy Examination. After licensure by New York State, the graduates will possess the depth of knowledge and practical experience from their studies to successfully practice massage therapy in New York State. Successfully licensed Mildred Elley graduates will be prepared to obtain employment in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities, residential care facilities, medical, chiropractic, and physical therapy practices, gyms, health clubs, resorts, spas, solo practice and other establishments.   Cosmetology – CERT Campus: Pittsfield, MA The Cosmetology Certificate program in Pittsfield, MA qualifies and prepares its graduates for successful passage of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Cosmetology licensing examination, administered by the Board of Registration of Cosmetologists, and successful practice in the field of cosmetology and appearance enhancement. The program is equivalent to 1,000 clock hours of instruction. Students are required to complete a minimum of 1,000 hours distributed among fields required by the Board in order to be eligible to register for the Board licensure examination.   Mildred Elley – Pittsfield, MA 100 West Street Pittsfield, MA 01201
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2020-08-04 06:07:06