Everything to Know Before Enrolling in Your First Barbering Program

A barber practices a close shave during his new barbering program.
When passion and technical ability overlap, there is the rare potential for a career that is not only financially successful but also deeply fulfilling. For many people, barbering checks these and other essential boxes—such as the opportunity to be creative and help others feel more confident in their appearance and everyday lives.

One of the key steps in pursuing barbering in a professional manner is to enroll in a barbering program. Here, you can learn about everything from the responsibilities barbers take on to the skills you need to provide people with the services they desire.

Enrolling in a Barbering Program? Here’s What You Should Know

If you’re ready to take the next step toward becoming a barber, enrolling in a barbering program is for you. These programs come in many shapes and sizes, but the skills you learn and the community you create will always set you up for long-term success.

To best prepare yourself for what comes when you enroll in a barbering program, you’ll want to check out the following things you should know. Read on for an inside look at what to expect from your first barbering program.

Barbering School Differs from Beauty School

While there is some overlap between barber school and beauty school, a barbering program will differentiate itself by taking a more focused approach. If beauty school is a comprehensive program covering a spectrum of subtopics, barbering school is entirely homed in on the art of barbering. As such, it will be steeped in tradition and trade-specific training.

How Long Does a Barbering Program Take to Complete?

If time is of the essence or you simply want to know what you’re getting yourself into, this question is likely on the tip of your tongue. Fret not, aspiring barber; most programs can be completed in less than a year—some take as little as four months to finish.

Keep in mind that your workload will increase with a shorter program. If you want to fast-track your learning, expect to spend a lot of time studying, practicing new skills, and embracing hands-on challenges with real barbering customers. If dedication and effort are there, you can thrive even in these condensed, high-pressure programs.

A new student practices her technique during her barbering program.

What Does a Barbering Program Cost?

This is a tricky question to answer because, just like traditional colleges, barbering programs cover a gambit of prices. To simplify as much as possible, you can expect a barbering program to cost anywhere between $2,000 and upwards of $11,000. It all depends on the program you enroll in.

Enrollment Requirements for Barbering Programs

Before you get gung-ho about the prospects of a barbering program, remember that you must meet certain requirements to enroll. By ensuring that you meet the minimum requirements before enrolling in a barbering program, you can save yourself time and frustration both upfront when trying to be admitted and long-term when you attempt to obtain proper licensing.

There are only two basic qualifications that must be met to qualify for barbering school. First, you must be at least 16 years old. Second, you must have a high school diploma or the equivalent thereof. This second requirement does have a caveat, as some high schools offer barbering programs.

Keep in mind that most programs require proof that you do, in fact, qualify. You will likely need state-issued identification and a diploma or GED to serve as said proof.

What You’ll Learn in Barbering School

While the curriculum you’ll learn is dependent on the program you attend, most will cover the following subjects in one way or another.

  • Chemistry – Don’t worry; this isn’t like the chemistry class you may have taken in school. Instead, it focuses on the basics of barber-focused chemistry, including how to use certain cosmetic products, how they work, and when to use them in your future barbering occupation.
  • Haircutting, Hairstyling, and Shaving – Th staples of barbering are, of course, cutting and styling hair, as well as shaving. Barbering school will teach you everything you need to establish a strong foundation of fundamentals in skills such as shampooing, using clippers and shears, hair design, and more.
  • Sales and Shop Management – If you have a goal of operating your own barber shop one day, these skills will be particularly useful. From regulations and taxes to marketing and customer relations, these subjects are fascinating for aspiring business owners.
  • Sanitation – They may not be glamorous, but hygiene and sanitation are essential to maintaining a safe barbering environment for you and your future clients.

Kickstart Your Future by Enrolling in a Barbering Program

Signing up for a barbering program, whether it’s in-person or online, is the first step toward a future as a barber. This brief guide should equip you with the information you need to prepare for the basics of most barbering programs and set you up for success.

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