It is not possible to become a hairstylist completely through online courses. Hairstylists must complete an accredited training program that includes working on real clients, along with passing a licensing exam. However, there are many online courses that can help hairstylists learn new skills and techniques. These courses may not count towards initial licensing requirements, but many can be used for continuing education credits for license renewal. They may also lead to a certificate of completion.
All states require hairstylists to be licensed. Although requirements differ from state to state, usually applicants must be at least 16 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED. They must have graduated from an approved training program that provided a specified number of hours in theory and practical hairstyling instruction. Licensing examinations can consist of a written test, practical test, oral test or a combination of all three. Some states have reciprocal arrangements with each other in regard to licensure.
Hairstylist Courses and Training
Online courses in hair styling are usually offered on a stand-alone basis. In most cases, Certificates of Completion are awarded upon successful fulfillment of course requirements. Certificates serve as testimony that training has been received. The hours may be applied to the requirements necessary to sit for the state licensing examination.
Online Program Information and Requirements
There is no set program, since courses are chosen on an individual basis. The courses are presented as online tutorials. Students enroll online for a specific course. They have access to that course for a certain amount of time, usually between three and six months, in which to complete the lessons.
Technical requirements include a computer with Internet access and equipped with a browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari, preferably in its latest version. Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Acrobat Reader are also necessary. Java Script should be enabled. A printer is advisable, so that any written material and worksheets can be printed and studied off line at the convenience of the student.
List of Common Hairstyling Topics
Online hairstyling courses deal with various techniques of cutting, coloring, and styling. They may be offered to fit different levels of expertise.
Students learn to create an updo using a brushed and rolled section at the top front of the head. This is complemented with a twist roll at the rear of the head and finished with twisted and tightly rolled side sections.
Students learn how to use clippers and blades to create texture and remove length, while creating a double baseline to maintain shape and balance. Channel and side cutting techniques are explored in order to personalize a blending of the different lengths.
In a blond coloring lesson, students learn to use finely sliced foils across the scalp to add body to a bob haircut. Students learn the technique of applying two different colors to different areas of the same hair shaft, in order to achieve a harmonious and versatile hair style with added texture and volume.
Career Information for Graduates
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for hairstylists, hairdressers and cosmetologists are expected to decrease by 2% from 2019-2029. As of May 2019, the BLS reported the national average annual wage for these professionals to be $31,530 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
Hairstylists may take additional courses in other disciplines, such as electrology, manicure, pedicure, cosmetics, and skincare in order to broaden their appeal and become more accomplished cosmetologists. Each of the disciplines carries its own license. Some schools offer an associate's degree in cosmetology, which can more fully prepare an individual for management positions, shop ownership or teaching.
Membership in such professional organizations such as the National Cosmetology Association or the Professional Beauty Association enhances an individual's standing in the profession. It also provides access to business tools, education programs, networking sessions, workshops, trade publications and industry discounts.
While there is no substitute for hands-on hairstylist training, there are standalone courses in the field that can be completed entirely online. They can be taken for career enrichment or to get continuing education credit for licensure renewal.