What do you learn in Barber School?

A barber education doesn’t only equip you to get a job in a barber shop or salon but also enables you to actually open your own business! It is a highly entrepreneurial career and attending barber school will certainly teach you with the concepts and skills you need to become a barber and a business owner. In a typical barbering program, instructors will introduce you to haircutting and styling tools and techniques and shampooing techniques. You will also learn how to shave and strop and do permanent waves and chemical hair relaxing procedures. Students are also taught how to color and tint hair.

Aside from the actual art and science of barbering, you will also learn sanitation and safety practices, the laws of the state governing the practice of barbering and business skills that are important in running a barbershop. Business ethics, management and providing great customer service are topics that will be covered in barber school.

Barber school doesn’t require a lot of time investment. Most barbering programs take anywhere from 10 to 15 months to finish depending on the number of class hours that students are required to complete. The number of hours that a barbering certificate or diploma program required in a barber school depends on the number of hours that the state requires for students to become eligible to get the licensing test. Normally, this takes anywhere from 1,250 to 2,000 hours.

At Texas Barber Colleges and Hairstyling Schools, an undergraduate certificate in barbering is awarded to a student who has completed 1,500 clock hours. Students are required to clock in and clock out whenever they go to school unlike in other schools which use credit hours as the basis for completing a program. The program is designed to be completed in 53 weeks.

At Prestige Barber College in Greensboro, North Carolina, meanwhile, their fulltime program takes anywhere from 10 to 12 months to finish. It requires 1,528 hours with the student attending 30 to 40 hours a week. If you want to enroll part-time, it will take you longer to finish the course. Since you’ll be spending 20 to 30 hours a week in school, you’ll be able to finish your education after 15 to 18 months.

Aside from certificate or diploma programs in barbering, there are also some colleges that offer an associate of applied science in barbering programs. The main difference between these courses is that in an associate program, the student has to meet general education requirements. At Central Carolina Community College, the program can be completed in four semesters if the student enrolls in the day program while evening program students will be able to finish it in ten semesters.

At the Northern New Mexico College, meanwhile, students will be awarded an associate of applied science in barbering degree after finishing 60 credit hours. The barbering program itself is 41 hours. The student will take 19 hours of general education courses in communication, humanities, math/computers/lab sciences, social/behavioral sciences and health, physical education and recreation.

For Arkansas, where Arkansas College of Barbering & Hair Design is located, one must complete at least 1,500 hours of schooling and training before looking to get licensed.

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A Bit of Background on Barbershops

Have you ever wondered a bit about the history of barbering and what it was like back in the day? Got a little information here to give you a bit of an idea on barbershops and barbers in the last century and a half.

The 1880s to the 1940s were the golden age for barbershops. During this time, men socialized in all-male hangouts, and barbershops rivaled saloons in popularity. Visiting the barbershop was a weekly, and sometimes daily habit. Men would stop in not only for a haircut and a shave, but also to fraternize with friends and talk for hours on end.

During this golden age, barbershops were classy places with often stunning surroundings. Marble counters were lined with colorful glass-blown tonic bottles. The barber chairs were elaborately carved from oak and walnut, and fitted with fine leather upholstery. Everything from the shaving mugs to the advertising signs were rendered with an artistic flourish. The best shops even had crystal chandeliers hanging from fresco painted ceilings.

Despite this level of luxury, barbershops were homey and inviting. A memorable and heavenly man aroma filled the air. The smell of cherry, wintergreen, apple, and butternut flavored pipe and tobacco smoke mixed with the scent of hair tonics, pomades, oils, and neck powders. These aromas became ingrained in the wood and every cranny of the shop. The moment a man stepped inside, he was enveloped in the warm and welcoming familiarity. He was immediately able to relax, and as soon as the hot lather hit his face, his cares would simply melt away.

Sadly, all golden ages end. The first blow to barbershops came in 1904 when Gillette began mass marketing the safety razor. Their advertisements touted the razor as more economical and convenient than visiting the barbershop. The use of safety razors caught on, and during World War I, the US government issued them along with straight razors to the troops. Having compared the two razors side by side, upon returning home from the front many soldiers discarded both the straight razor and their frequent trips to the barbershop. Going to the barber for a shave became a special occasion instead of a regular habit.

In the decades after WWI, several other factors combined to weaken the place of the barbershop in society. Companies like Sears began selling at-home haircutting kits, and mom began cutting the boy’s hair. Then the great depression came around, and people cut back on discretionary spending like barber shaves. The loss of male lives in the two World Wars and Korean wars also shrunk barbers’ pool of clients. Then in the 1960s Beatle-mania and the hippie culture seized the country, and hairstyles began to change. Men started to grow their hair longer and shaggier, and their visits to the barber became infrequent or non-existent.

Even when short hair came back into style during the 1980s, men did not return en masse to the barbershop. Instead, a new type of hairdresser siphoned off the barbers’ former customers: the unisex salon. Places like “SuperCuts” which were neither beauty salons nor barbershops, catered to both men and women. Many states’ licensing boards accelerated this trend by ceasing to issue barber licenses altogether and instead issuing a unisex “cosmetologist” license to all those seeking to enter the hair cutting profession.

Nowadays, barbershops are becoming a homely place once again, and there are reasons to visit the barbershop once more.

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Finding the Perfect Cut

You’re approaching your graduation from high school, or you are newly graduated, even. You’ve decided you want to be a barber, and done all the research on the career field. Now comes deciding what to do for school. Choosing a barber school involves making an educational decision that will prepare the student for a successful career. The best school will provide a good foundation for the future by bringing a passion for barbering to life and fueling it with the proper education. Barbers mainly cut men’s hair, but some have a client base that includes women and children. Barbers can either work in a barber shop or in their own salon, and the average barber earns between $15,000 and $30,000 US Dollars (USD) per year.

The two main focuses of barber school are to provide the job skills necessary to succeed in the barbering industry and to prepare the students for tests and licenses. A barber school will typically focus on one of these two goals. To provide necessary job skills, a barbering program can either enhance basic skills already known by students or begin from scratch. In schools that are designed to prepare students for tests and licenses, the curriculum is catered toward the regulations for passing the state board examination, which will allow the student to obtain a license.

Before a student chooses a barber school, he or she should consider individual goals and basic knowledge of the field. A barber student should weigh how much theory he or she knows with how much practice will be needed. When looking at barber schools, each school’s curriculum and practical training methods should be explored. The laws of the state where the barber intends to work should be understood because most states require a cosmetology license to become a barber, but some grant a specific barbering license.

Additional factors to consider when choosing a barber school include whether or not the school is accredited by professional barber organizations, how closely the school fits the student’s background, how much of the student’s current knowledge in the field will be put to use, whether or not credits will transfer if the student has already had some related education, how rigid or flexible the curriculum is and how much fieldwork will be part of the program. Other factors involved in the decision include location, cost and times that classes are offered. All of these things must be juggled with the student’s current lifestyle and commitments. Most barber school programs range from nine to 24 months and cost between $6,500 and $10,000 USD per year.

Barber schools teach students how to cut and style hair, treat hair with chemicals, shave and trim facial hair, apply hair and scalp treatments, recognize skin diseases, use barbering instruments, follow sanitary procedures and learn the sciences of chemistry, anatomy and physiology. After the education is completed, a barber student is required to take a written and sometimes oral examination. Most states require barbers to take continuing education hours for additional training each year.

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Cons to Becoming a Barber

So you’ve decided you want to become a barber, huh? In the previous article, we went over some of the pros of becoming a barber and getting in to hair cutting. Now, with every pro, there comes a con. While the pros make the job sound super awesome, there are some cons to take in to consideration. This will help you see the whole picture and decide if barbering is really the end goal for you.

First off, we have to talk about the liability. When becoming a barber, you are liable for every thing going on with your client’s hair. That includes cut, scraps, bruises, and even patches. You’re responsible for your own work, and anything you do to your client’s hair is on you, regardless of what may happen. Take extra care when working with clients, and this should not be a major issue.

Next, we’re going to talk about the stability of the job. In the previous article, we talked about “being your own boss” and basically not having to worry about being unemployed. Now, while that was very true, there is no such thing as a 100% guarantee. With being a barber, there stiff competition for high-end jobs. This means there are a lot of barbers in the industry and it’s hard to keep a well-balanced clientele because you may never know who could take your next client.

Workdays can also be a con. Once again, in the previous article we talked about how a barber can make his or her own hours. Although a barber may choose how long he or she may work, his or her busiest days are going to be the weekends and holidays, which are days usually people really don’t want to work. Most people tend to get their haircut around these times so barbers have to work on holidays and weekends which cuts into their free time. If you want a job where you don’t have to work holidays or weekends, well, this career can also be for you, just don’t expect to make much money if you don’t work during peak periods.

Physical health is also very important if you are considering becoming a barber, trust me. Barbers spend almost 100% of their time on their feet, which can be damaging to their back and legs. This can actually affect them in the long run and cause their careers to be shortened, which is obviously devastating if you can no longer do what you love! Even if they feel as if they can’t cut another head, they still have to keep the job going. So you will want to make sure you are cut out for a physically straining job such as being a barber. There are also ways to help alleviate any damage that could be caused from the constant standing. Good shoes, and a proper floor mat that acts as a cushion.

So there you go, these are some cons of becoming a barber. Do you feel up to the challenge to face these? Then you may be cut out for barbering, pun may or may not have been intended.

Check out Arkansas College of Barbering and Hair Design for more information!

Pros to Becoming a Barber

So you’re deciding on a job you want to make a career out of, and you feel you know a thing or two about hair. What now? You decide you want to become a barber, but do you know all the pros and cons just so you are 100% sure? I’m going to discuss here the different pros and cons of becoming a barber.

First and foremost, one of the biggest pros to being a barber is being self-employed. Being a barber means you’re your own boss, so most likely you’ll never be out of a job. You can own your own shop, or you can rent out a chair at a local barbershop. Granted, working in someone else’s shop may not be ideal for you if you crave complete freedom, but it helps build experience! Also, shops are always looking for new talent.

A barber’s income is actually a decent income. Depending on how good the barber can cut, they can make great money. The better the barber’s skills, the more he or she can charge for their service. Not only do skills define their income, but also location. Smart barbers setup shop in locations were they know they can make the most money with the type of haircuts they know how to do, and the type of hair they know how to cut. In 2011, the annual income of a barber was $28,050. The top ten percent of the barber make an annual income of $46,000. The bottom ten percent had an annual income of around $17,000. The sky is the limit, and your income will also be reflected by the effort you put in to your career, which leads in to my next point.

Becoming a barber comes with a lot of freedom, especially when it comes to working hours. A barber may choose his own time to go and leave the shop whenever he or she wants to. On the other hand, if you have a lot of clients, I’m sure they wouldn’t leave and miss out on all that money. Also, you get vacation days whenever you want. Basically, as stated before, you are your own boss! The only thing you have to do is pay your booth rent, and if you own your own shop, all you have to do is pay rent for the business! A lot of jobs limit employees to how many hours they can work, and how much money they can make. Being a barber, you can work however long as you want to make as much money as you want; it’s completely on you and your work ethic.

In the barbering industry, they don’t require you to wear any special suit or shirt, only a barber jacket. This jacket can be designed any way you want. You have the freedom to wear anything you want, as long as it is presentable and professional.

Becoming a barber allows you to assist someone in feeling good about themselves, which builds their self-esteem. You may never know, that haircut might help someone in the long run, like a job or even an important date.

These are some of the pros of being a barber, in the next article, we’ll discuss some of the cons of being a barber.

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