Hair braiding has a long and distinguished history. Its roots can be traced to 17th century Africa, where the specialized skills were handed down from one generation to the next. Hair braiding has since crossed the ocean and has a devoted following in the United States, especially among individuals of African origin.
If you have an artistic bent, and the patience to do time-consuming painstaking work that ultimately leads to a beautiful and durable hair design that will make its wearer look and feel great, consider a career as a hair braider in Maine! There are five basic types of hair braiding: braiding, cornrowing, weaving, twisting, and locking.
In Maine, hair braiders must be licensed as a cosmetologist or hair stylist. Licenses are regulated by the Maine Board of Cosmetology. To be eligible to take the licensing exam, it is necessary to complete at least 1500 hours in an accredited cosmetology or hairstyling program. Alternatively, it is also acceptable to complete a 2500 hour apprenticeship. Cosmetologists need to renew their licenses every October. The exam itself contains both a theoretical (written) part, and a practical part, and you will need to pass both. Once you do, you will be issued your license.
In cosmetology school, you will study many aspects of hair and skin care from basic anatomy and physiology as well as diseases and conditions. All aspects of hair and skin care will be covered and you will get to observe professionals performing these skills, both live, and via video. Youll learn about the products and tools used to care for skin and hair. Your program will focus on skills needed for relating to customers, such as active listening, on safety and sanitation regulations and how to comply with them, and on selected aspects of the beauty business. When you receive your certificate or degree, you will be qualified in many areas of skin and hair care, extending way beyond hair braiding, although, of course, you will be qualified to perform that skill as well.
According to O*Net, the average yearly salary in 2013 for cosmetologists, hair dressers, and hair stylists in Maine was $24,200. As a hair braider, you will be practicing a specialty skill that is not practiced by most cosmetologists or hair dressers. Thus, you may be able to command a higher fee for this service. Also, since hair braiding is highly time consuming, you will spend most of your work time with a relatively few clients who pay relatively more per service. The expected growth rate for cosmetologists, hair dressers, and hair stylists is between 8% to 14% from 2010 to 2022, meaning that new graduates should find it reasonably easy to get a job.
As a hair braider, it is likely that you will start out working at a spa or salon, performing hair braiding as a specialty skill. It is helpful if you can have a quiet corner or a private room in which to work, because hair braiding takes time and concentration. After working for awhile, many hair braiders decide to open their own hair braiding salon, dedicated exclusively to the practice of hair braiding. You will then have the responsibilities and rewards of owning your own small business. You will be working individually with clients, often for lengthy periods of time. Hair braiding requires a high degree of artistry, as you must be able to visualize the effect you are aiming to achieve. It takes a steady hand, as much of the braiding is with small strands of hair divided into thirds. And it takes patience, especially to braid an entire head of hair. But since you will be working with individual clients you will have some control over your own schedule. Still, clients expect to be able to be seen on weekends and in the evenings, and your salon may require that you work some of these hours. But it is possible to work in your career along with the rest of your life, giving you good career-life balance.
Maine Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation - Barbering & Cosmetology Program
35 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
Phone Number: 207-624-8579
Fax Number: 207-624-8637
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Maine 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 Maine state cosmetology license.
Hair professionals in Maine possess a range of techniques that are meant
to fulfill any of their clients’ requests. These techniques also include the
detailed craft of hair braiding. Those seeking to be proficient enough in
hair braiding to make a career from it consult with these institutions.
Maine Barbering and Cosmetology Licensing
American Association of Cosmetology Schools
Association of Cosmetology Salon Professionals