What Are the School Requirements to Become a Hair Stylist?

Hair stylists help others feel good about their appearance by giving them flattering haircuts, colors and styles. Find out some career information and what it takes to become a hair stylist by reading below. Schools offering Nail Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Defined

As a hair stylist, you're a cosmetology worker who specializes in beauty areas like coloring, cutting, and shampooing. You can provide hair care advice to clients and recommend specific products based on their unique hair type. You may also clean or style hairpieces and wigs.

School Entry Requirements

You usually must be a citizen or a legal alien to enter a school's program. You'll likely find that many beauty schools require completion of high school or a GED program. There is usually a minimum student age requirement that must be met to enroll into the school. Some schools may accept students who are under the age of 18.

You may also have to pay a non-refundable application fee, some or all of your tuition costs, and buy supplies or kits required for the program. Many schools will also require you to meet with an advisor, complete an entrance interview, and/or attend an orientation before formally enrolling in the program.


To get your education as a hair stylist, you can choose to complete a cosmetology certificate or associate's degree program. You'll learn hair stylist skills in these programs, and you'll also learn additional things like nail care and skin care.

The hair styling classes you'll complete include hair coloring, hair styling, chemical services, and hair cutting. You'll also take science courses that are related to anatomy so you understand the nature of human hair. Sanitation courses help ensure that you know the proper way to keep yourself and your clients safe. Business courses are normally included in a program to give you a good sense of how to own, operate, and work in a salon.


You'll need to be licensed in the state in which you work. The qualifications for this licensure vary in each state, but requirements generally include being at least 16 years old, completing a program from an approved cosmetology school, and possessing a GED or high school diploma.

With these requirements met, you can complete the written and skill evaluation tests. The written examination covers your knowledge of laws related to hair stylists, hair stylist techniques, and proper sanitation procedures. The skills test ensures that you're able to perform your job duties at a satisfactory level. An application fee is normally required for you to receive your license, and most states require license renewals.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

  • Remington College

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    • Certificates

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  • Waukesha County Technical College

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    • Wisconsin: Pewaukee
  • United Beauty College

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    • Colorado: Denver
  • South Texas Barber College Inc

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    • Texas: Corpus Christi
  • Seymour Beauty Academy

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    • Missouri: Seymour
  • Red Rocks Community College

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    • Colorado: Lakewood
  • Queen City College

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    • Tennessee: Clarksville
  • Pueblo Community College

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    • Colorado: Pueblo
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College

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    • Wisconsin: Milwaukee
  • Pickens Technical College

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    • Colorado: Aurora