How to Become a Professional Barber
Barbering can be a rewarding and lucrative career, but it takes hard work, dedication, and skill to be successful.
Take the next steps and apply to a training program near your today!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
2 Years

The Definitive Guide to Becoming a Professional Barber

Ever dreamed of cutting men's hair and becoming a grooming professional?

If you're reading this, you're likely interested in becoming a professional barber. Or maybe you're just curious about what it takes to become one. In either case, you've come to the right place.

This guide will provide you with all the information you need to make the transition from amateur barber to a professional stylist.

What Is a Professional Barber?

A professional barber is an individual who has undergone the necessary training and education to provide haircutting, shaving, and other grooming services to clients. Professional barbers must be licensed to practice their trade. To obtain a license, one must complete an accredited barbering program and pass a state-administered examination.

Professional barbering services often include:

  • Haircuts
  • Beard trims
  • Shaving
  • Head massages

They may also provide coloring or perming treatments depending on the program.

Skills and Requirements to Become a Professional Barber

Not just anyone can be a professional barber.  You need to possess the right skills and satisfy a few requirements before someone will let you behind a barber chair.

First and foremost, you must have a passion for the trade. Without a passion for what you do, it will be difficult to succeed.

Secondly, you must be able to communicate effectively with your clients, which involves being able to listen to your clients and understand their needs. You must also be able to communicate your ideas clearly and concisely.

You will also need to have excellent people skills because your job will involve working closely with clients regularly. It is important to build rapport and establish trust with your clients.

In addition, you must be able to work well under pressure because you will often be working with time constraints. You must be able to remain calm and collected to provide quality services.

Finally, you must be able to take direction. Taking direction is important because you will be working with other team members in a salon environment and will need to provide the results each client is looking for.

As far as requirements go, you will need to complete an accredited program for barbering or cosmetology. You could also consider completing a barbering apprenticeship. Additionally, you will need to pass your state's licensing exam.

Steps to Become a Professional Barber

So, you want to become a professional barber? Here are the steps you need to take:

Get Proper Education

You don't need a college degree to become a barber. You just need to have earned a high school diploma or its equivalent.

See If It's a Good Fit

To see if barbering is a good fit, consider working at the front desk of a barbershop or try to become an apprentice for a barber you admire. This allows you to get up-close experience in and around a barbershop and see firsthand what the job entails.

Complete a Training Program

If you decide that barbering is a good fit, the next step is to complete an accredited training program. These programs can be found at vocational schools or community colleges.

Some programs are specifically for barbering, while others may be for cosmetology. These programs typically take between 9 and 18 months to complete but will vary depending on the specific program you pick.

In your cosmetology or barbering courses, you will learn:

You will also learn about the history of barbering, sanitation, safety, and how to run a successful business.

Most programs combine both theoretical instruction as well as hands-on work with mannequins and then trial customers.

If a formal program doesn't sound right for you, consider an apprenticeship.  Apprenticeships are paid work opportunities that allow you to learn on the job while being mentored by a licensed professional.

Take the State Board Exam to Get a License

After completing your education or apprenticeship, you will need to pass the state board exam to get a license. The specific requirements for this exam will vary by state.

The written portion of the test covers topics like safety, sanitation, hair care chemicals, and licensing laws.

The practical portion of the test requires you to demonstrate your haircutting, shaving, and other barbering skills on a live model.

Some states will allow a passed cosmetology test to count for both barbering and cosmetology licenses, while others will keep them separate.

Once you pass the appropriate exam, you can submit your application for a license to your state board.

Applying for Barber Jobs

With a license in hand, you can now start applying for barber jobs.

When interviewing, be sure to emphasize your people skills, ability to work well under pressure, and experience with the various hair care services you offer.

If you're just starting, look for entry-level positions such as assistant barber or shampoo technician. These positions will give you the opportunity to build experience to reach your career goals.

Start Working

It's time to start working! You can find employment opportunities at barbershops, salons, spas, or resorts.

Some barbers also choose to open their own shops. If this is the route you choose, be prepared to invest in some start-up costs like a shop location, equipment, and supplies.

Tips for Success as a Professional Barber

Do you want to become a successful barber? Here are some tips to help you out:

  • Stay up-to-date on the latest hair trends.
  • Network with other professionals.
  • Attend hair shows and conventions.
  • Stay positive and upbeat.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Create a portfolio of your work.
  • Keep your workspace clean and organized.
  • Charge fair prices.

Barbering can be a rewarding and lucrative career, but it takes hard work, dedication, and skill to be successful. If you have what it takes, use the tips above to start your journey to becoming a professional barber!

Final Thoughts

Becoming a professional barber takes time, effort, and training. But if you're passionate about the craft and willing to put in the work to get experienced and licensed, it can be a rewarding career with plenty of growth opportunities.

By following the steps outlined in this definitive guide, you'll be on your way to becoming a successful barber in no time.