Hair Design

Nothing makes people feel quite as confident as a great hairstyle that brings out their inner beauty. You can help people find and enjoy their perfect hair style by studying hair design in California! Learning how to offer high-quality hair design services to clients requires you to learn about the cutting, coloring, and styling of different types of hair.

At, we help students pursue their passion for beauty every day. If you’re serious about success in the beauty industry, use our free directory to contact and compare programs in your area today!

State License Requirements

Although you may specialize in hair design once you begin your career, you must first earn a cosmetology degree. California does not have a specific license or program for those who only offer hair design services, essentially requiring you to complete a full-fledged cosmetology program. This program often takes one to two years, depending on how many hours you attend school each week.

Education Details

In your hair design program, you may start by learning about the tools used in basic hair design processes. Your instructors may help you become familiar with different types of scissors, chemicals used in hair processing treatments, and other tools in your cosmetology kit. This lays the groundwork for hands-on work in hair styling. You may start gaining hands-on experience in your first semester of cosmetology school. You may find that this helps you learn more quickly about cosmetology tools and techniques. Rather than working on real clients, you may spend a long time working on mannequin heads. As you become more confident and get more training, you can start using your cutting, dying, and styling skills on real customers.

License Renewal
License Renewal Hours
License Renewal Period

In California, hair designers should look into cosmetology training to meet the license requirements in this state. Currently, cosmetologists must complete a minimum 1,600-hour program, plus pass the exams administered by the state. With the additional skills in makeup, skincare and nails, you can add more skills to your resume for prospective salon work. Once you obtain your license, you will need to renew it every two years, in odd-numbered years. The renewal fee is currently $50.

Job Outlook Increase
Between 2012 - 2022

In California, the licensing of cosmetologists and other beauty professionals goes through the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. You must complete 1,600 hours of training at an approved school before you are eligible for cosmetology licensure in this state. Since beauty and style are so important in California, it should come as no surprise that the job outlook is excellent for California cosmetologists. In this state, new cosmetology jobs are expected to grow 6% faster than the national average (O*Net, 2010). On average, this growth may lead to more than 1,500 new jobs per year (O*Net, 2010). As a hair designer, your income may be affected by many different factors. Your salary may fluctuate from week to week, since tips may be a large part of your salary. O*Net reports that the average salary for a California cosmetologist is $22,900 per year. They list a salary range that goes from $17,700 to $43,800 per year (O*Net, 2013).

Working as a Hair Designer

Becoming a hair designer can be a fairly sizable responsibility! People know that their hair says a lot about them, and you should be able to listen to their requests to ensure that you can give them what they want. Strong communication may be one of the most important parts of becoming a hair designer. Customers may not be able to tell you what they want in technical hair dressing terms, so you must know how to ask the right questions to learn more about their desired hair style. In addition, working as a hair designer may require long shifts and lots of time on your feet. During busy periods, like prom and wedding season, you may spend well over eight hours per day at your salon. Most of this time is spent standing or walking. Being able to think quickly and act appropriately under pressure can benefit you in this career. Getting started in this career can have a great effect on your life. The Body reports on Fabian Quezada, a young hair stylist in California that used this industry to turn his life around. He used his interest in hair styling to change the focus of his life from drugs and alcohol to health and hair styling. It's clear that hair design doesn't just have a positive effect on your customers' lives; it can change yours as well.

State board Contact Information

California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
PO Box 944226
Sacramento, CA94244-2260
2420 Del Paso Road, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95834
Cosmetology Board Phone Number: 1-800-952-5210
Fax Number: 916-575-7281

The California State Board of Cosmetology is a valuable resource and can answer additional questions about obtaining a California state cosmetology license.

Hair design in California is big business, due in part to the entertainment industry
having an entrenched position there. Aside from that, it’s a given that many want
to begin a career in a state that celebrates fabulous personal style. Those looking
to be quality hair designers refer to these organizations.

California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
California Cosmetology Association
Professional Beauty Association

Find the Beauty Schools in California that interest you below,

Avalon School of Cosmetology

2318 Central Avenue,
Alameda, CA 94501

Program: Cosmetology

Milan Institute

2822 F Street,
Bakersfield, CA 93301

Program: Cosmetology

Newberry School of Beauty

16852 Devonshire Street,
Chatsworth, CA 91344

Program: Cosmetology

Bellus Academy- South San Diego County Campus

970 Broadway,
Chula Vista, CA 91911

Program: Cosmetology

W Academy of Salon + Spa

520 San Ramon Valley Blvd,
Danville, CA 94526

Program: Cosmetology

Bellus Academy- East San Diego County Campus

1073 East Main Street,
El Cajon, CA 92021

Program: Cosmetology

Milan Institute of Cosmetology

47120 Dune Palms,
La Quinta, CA 92253

Program: Cosmetology

Aveda Institute - Los Angeles

10935 Weyburn Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Program: Cosmetology

Milan Institute - Merced

780 Loughborough Drive,
Merced, CA 95340

Program: Cosmetology

Paul Mitchell the School Modesto

3100 Mchenry Ave,
Modesto, CA 95350

Program: Cosmetology

Bellus Academy- North San Diego County Campus

13266 Poway Road,
Poway, CA 92064

Program: Cosmetology

Blake Austin College Beauty Academy

1679 East Monte Vista Suite 200,
Vacaville, CA 95688

Program: Cosmetology

Lu Ross Academy of Beauty & Health

470 East Thompson Boulevard,
Ventura, CA 93001

Program: Cosmetology