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Barber Schools in Kentucky

When most people think of Kentucky, they picture horse racing, bourbon, and bluegrass music. But the Bluegrass State has much more to offer than that. For instance, did you know that Kentucky is home to the oldest barber school in the nation? Located in Louisville, Tri-City Barber College has been teaching barbers since 1914! You, too, can become a barber in Kentucky and help people look and feel their best. Check out our listings below to find a barber school near you!

Barber Schools in Kentucky

State Requirements for Barber Licensing­ in Kentucky

The following are the sequential steps for becoming a licensed barber in Kentucky:

  • Enroll in a Barber school
  • Complete a minimum of 1,500 training hours
  • Work as a Probationary Barber for 6 months
  • Pass the Kentucky Probationary Barber Exam
  • Renew your Barber license every year

How Much Do Kentucky Barber Programs Cost?

The tuition for barber schools in Kentucky can range from $8,000 to $20,000. The difference in cost is often based on what is provided by the program as a part of tuition, such as barbering supplies, tools, books, and training materials.

Most students are eligible for financial aid through scholarships and grants, which can significant cut back on the total cost of barber school. Be sure to reach out to your barber school’s financial aid department to find out what types of financial aid you may qualify for.

Having a barbering toolkit is necessary for attending a barber school, which can cost $1,000 – $2,000. There may be additional fees such as registration fees, exam application fees, and license registration and renewal fees.

Required Skills and Classes

Kentucky requires barbers to attend a barber school and complete a minimum of 1,500 total hours of training education. These hours are separated into two sections: Theory and Practical.


Theory involves learning the basics of barbering in a classroom setting with an instructor as well as taking quizzes that test your knowledge of the subjects learned in Theory. Most programs administer 320 of the 1,500 hours to Theory. The following is an example of the concepts learned in Theory and the amount of time spent on each subject:

History, Professional Ethics & Other Info10
Barbering Instruments7
Haircutting for Men & Women35
Permanent Waving15
Hair Coloring15
Hair Straightening & Relaxing15
Shaving Instructions8
Scalp and Skin Disease20
Physiology & Anatomy of the Head, Face, & Neck100
Sterilization & Sanitation10


Most time in barber school is spent in a practical setting, where you observe demonstrations of barbering skills or practice barbering skills on mannequins or models. Barber schools allocate about 1,180 of the 1,500 hours towards the Practical section.

The following is a breakdown of practical training and the amount of time you may spend on each section:

Barbering Instruments23
Haircutting for Men & Women900
Permanent Waving25
Hair Coloring25
Hair Straightening & Relaxing25
Shaving Instructions92
Sterilization & Sanitation30

State Licensing Exams

Once you have completed the required training at a Kentucky barber school, you will be eligible to take the Probationary Barber Exam. You must also have graduated from high school and be at least 17½ to take the exam.

Kentucky Probationary Barber Exam

The Kentucky Probationary Barber Exam is a written test that must be completed in 1 hour and 20 minutes, and a minimum score of 75% is required to pass. The exam includes the following sections and topics from barber theory:

  • Bacteriology and Sanitation
  • Infection Control
  • Head, Neck, and Face Anatomy
  • Shaving Procedures
  • Hair Cutting and Styling
  • Hair Coloring
  • Chemical Hair Services
  • Kentucky Barber Laws and Regulations

After passing the Probationary Barber Exam, you will be eligible to purchase your Probationary License ($50) and work as a Probationary Barber in Kentucky. You must work for a minimum of 6 consecutive months as a Probationary Barber before being eligible to take the Kentucky Barber Exam. This involves working in a barber shop under the direct supervision of a licensed barber.

The Kentucky Board of Barbering will mail a letter with application instructions for taking the Kentucky Barber Exam, which they will schedule for you upon receiving and accepting your application.

Kentucky Barber Exam

The exam only consists of a Practical Exam – there is no written exam. The exam lasts 1 hour and 10 minutes and tests you on one of the three chemical services:

  • Permanent Wave
  • Apply Straightener
  • Apply Coloring

You will be told by the Board to complete one of the three chemical services. You will not know in advance which of the three you will be asked to complete, so it is necessary to prepare for all three.

How Much Do Barbers Get Paid in Kentucky?

Barbers in Kentucky can expect to earn $40,840 per year on average or $19.64 an hour.

Does Kentucky Have Continuing Education Requirements for Barbers?

The Kentucky Board of Barbering does not require any continuing education requirements for licensed barbers.

Renewing a Barber License

Barber licenses expire every year on July 1 and must be renewed between June 1 and June 30. Barber licenses can be renewed online or by mail and involve a $50. An additional $25 fee is imposed on late renewals.

Contact Information for Licensing Board

Contact the Kentucky Board of Barbering using the following details:

Phone: (502) 429-7148 or (502) 429-7169
Address: 312 Whittington Parkway, Suite 110
Louisville, KY 40222