You can enter one of many job fields after completing a Cosmetology Program. Cosmetology is a huge umbrella term and it includes a variety of general and specialized jobs. Hair braiding is a more specialized job that takes a substantial amount of expertise. If you’re interested in becoming a hair braider as a career, here’s everything you need to know.
A “hair braider” usually doesn’t mean someone who can do general braiding for a variety of hair textures. Instead, these braiders are usually prominent in communities from the African diaspora, including African-American individuals and African immigrants. That means they need to know how to care for and braid hair that’s very textured and has extremely tight curls.
You may also become a “loctician,” an even more specialized job that’s gained popularity in some circles. Locticians specifically help people start and maintain dreadlocks, which requires special care.
Hair braiding is a traditional form of hairstyling in African communities, which means there has been a demand for hair braiders for decades. However, it’s become more recognized in the general cosmetology world recently.
As diversity increases throughout the United States, and traditional hairstyles become more accepted in a professional context, you’re likely to experience a boom in business. That makes hair braiding a great option.
Every cosmetology career maintains different requirements.
First, it’s important that you get an education in Cosmetology. All states have their own Cosmetology licensing requirements. If you’re exclusively going to practice hair braiding, cosmetology school can prepare you for a variety of other career avenues as well. You can learn everything from owning and operating a salon to performing other cosmetology services.
Although hair braiding is a tradition that stretches back centuries, state governments have only recently started to recognize it as a formal profession. Some states require a specific hair braiding license; some require a general cosmetology license; some require any form of licensing. Talk to other hair braiders or a cosmetology school expert to determine what licenses you might need.
This is one of the informal requirements of hair braiding, but it’s still important. To be a successful hair braider, you’ll want to have some connection to it already. That could mean you already braid people’s hair, you know hair braiders that braid your hair, or you’re just part of a community that practices hair braiding.
Skills for Success
To become a successful hair braider, a few skills will help you through the process. Whether inborn or built through experience, consider trying to check off these skills before you start your hair braiding journey.
Because of the substantial number of steps required for hair braiding, a single session of hair braiding can take multiple hours. If someone is trying dreadlocks for the first time, that specialized care can also take hours. You need to be able to stand on your feet and make repetitive motions for many hours.
Fine Motor Skills
Most traditional braid styles utilize very small braids all across the head. In many styles, especially intricate styles such as cornrows, you need to add very small amounts of hair and manipulate small strands as you braid. That means it’s very important that you have expert fine motor skills that you can maintain for hours.
As you braid, the person whose hair you’re braiding will also have to sit and wait for you to finish. You need to make sure they’re comfortable for several hours. Braid styles can also be very personal and intricate, so it’s important to understand what your customer wants.
Marketing and Sales Knowledge
Even if you have all the connections in the world, you’ll still need to advertise your services somehow. Many people also sell hair products from their salons, and that requires some skill. Pay attention to marketing and sales tactics that you learn throughout your cosmetology career for a better outlook.
The Career You Want
Cosmetology is a great opportunity for people to flex their creativity and love their job. If you already love hair braiding, this is a great way to make it into a career. Look into a cosmetology education from Tricoci University of Beauty Culture to start your journey as a hair braider.