While hair braiding styles used to be confined to Africa, this type of hairstyling has exploded in popularity in recent years! Since New York is often one of the first states to adopt new styling techniques, this can be a great state for you if you want to become a professional hair braider.
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New York has a separate licensing path for those who want to go into hair braiding. This means that you do not have to worry about earning a full cosmetology license. The licensing agency requires that you go through at least 300 hours of training at an accredited institution. You can then apply for the written and practical examinations. From there, you may pay your $40 application fee and begin working.
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You can start getting a feel for different types of hair and understanding what various hair types need as soon as you start your education. In the early weeks of your hair braiding training, you may work with mannequin heads to identify hair textures, learn how to assess hair, and figure out whether or not hair is damaged. This knowledge is incredibly important, since it affects how you style and handle someone's hair. To succeed at hair braiding in New York, you should have many different braid styles in your skill set. That's why hair braiding programs start hands-on practice early! You can expect to begin your training with simple styles like single braids and cornrows. Once you develop excellent technique and speed with these styles, you can move onto more in-depth styles. Other types of braiding include twists, knots, and hair locking. Extensions are common in hair braiding, so your education may touch on how to work with extensions.
In New York, there may be quite a range of job opportunities for hair braiders. This is a relatively new field, so there's little information on job growth that's specific to hair braiders. However, O*Net expects job openings for cosmetology professionals to increase by 12% between 2010 and 2020. As New York becomes more diverse in its population and hair care needs, the need for hair braiders may increase accordingly. Most cosmetology professionals in New York earn between $16,400 and $45,600 per year, according to O*Net. They note that the average salary for a New York cosmetologist is $21,900 per year (O*Net, 2013). New York is one of a growing number of states that requires licensure for hair braiders. Before you can officially begin working as a hair braider, you must apply for your license via the New York Division of Licensing Services. They will verify that you've completed 300 hours of training before allowing you to take the required exams. Once you have met all of these requirements, you can start working.
You can take your new hair braiding skills and use them in several different settings. Some people choose to work in a salon or spa, while others go on to open their own hair braiding businesses and become small business owners. The New York Daily News reports that many who get into hair braiding eventually become business owners. While this may mean longer hours, it may also improve your earning potential. However, the work experience is much the same regardless of where you work. From day to day, your work schedule may change. Braiding a head of hair can easily take several hours, so your weekly schedule may be based on what appointments you have and how long you think they'll take. You might spend time with new clients or have shorter appointments that involve touching up clients' braids. Since one hair braiding session may take hours, you should be ready to give your clients a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Talking to them, finding out their stories, and keeping their minds engaged while they sit can make your customers more willing to come back to you when they need their hair done again. Excellent customer service makes all the difference in your job satisfaction and your client satisfaction!
New York Dept. of State Division of Licensing Services
Albany Division of Licensing Services
1 Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue, 6th Floor
Albany, NY 12231
Phone Number: 518-474-4429
Fax Number: 518-473-6648
The New York State Board of Cosmetology can answer any of the additional questions you might have about obtaining a New York cosmetology license that we didnt note above.
New York exudes nothing but impeccable flair and is often a leader in style. This
attitude is reflected in the work of hair professionals in the state, with hair
braiding being commonplace. While there isn’t a set licensing process, eager
applicants go to these organizations to get started.
New York State Department of Licensing - Cosmetology
Professional Beauty Association
Associated Hair Professionals