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Hair Schools in South Carolina

Considering a career in hair? Attending hair school and becoming a licensed hairstylist in South Carolina is a great way to start your career in hair! Not only is it a fun and creative profession, but it’s also a great way to make a living. The job outlook for hairstylists is very positive, with an expected 11% growth in employment over the next decade. And that’s not all – being a licensed hairstylist also comes with plenty of perks, like flexible hours, the ability to work from home, and the opportunity to meet new people and build relationships with clients.

If you’re looking for a rewarding career with plenty of upside, attending hair school is the way to go! Interested in pursuing a career as a hairstylist? This site will walk you through the process of earning your license and also provides listings for hair schools near you in South Carolina so you can find the right program for your schedule.

Hair Schools in South Carolina

State Requirements for Hairstylist Licensing in South Carolina

The most common way to become a cosmetologist in South Carolina is to go to an accredited school and then pass the state’s licensing exams. For admittance, you’ll need to be at least 16 years old and have a 10th-grade education (or testing equivalent). All accredited cosmetology programs will require a minimum of 1,500 hours.

If you complete these steps, you can fill out an application and pay the licensing fee and you’ll be able to work as a licensed hairstylist in South Carolina.

How Much Do South Carolina Hair Schools Cost?

The price of tuition can vary a bit depending on which hair schools in South Carolina you research. On the low end, you can find tuition for around $14,000 while more expensive programs may run as high as $17,300. Most of these beauty schools will run for approximately 12 months, and they may include additional costs for books and supplies. Sometimes these additional expenses are only a couple of hundred dollars but at some schools they may be $2,000 or more. Be sure to inquire about these fees when you’re doing your research.

Required Skills and Classes

As you might imagine, you’ll cover a lot of territory in your 1,500 hours of education. In South Carolina, hairstylists must complete a full cosmetology program. This will include a wide range of courses that will help you learn the theory and practice of many areas including:

  • Anatomy and biology
  • Ethics
  • Safety and sanitation
  • Hairstyling, cutting, coloring, curling, straightening, and more
  • Dermatology
  • Makeup application
  • Nail technology
  • State laws and regulations

An important difference between many programs is a focus on the business side of running a salon. If you have an interest in starting your own business, you may want to attend a school that has programs focused on that.

State Licensing Exam

You’ll have 24 months to take and pass the exam once you’ve finished your hair school program. South Carolina’s state licensing exams are managed by PSI Exams. Their website is a useful source of information for testing dates, locations, etc.

There is a $66 fee for the exams and you’ll be required to pass both the computer-based theory exam (also known as the written test) and the practical exam. You will need to arrive at each test with two forms of valid ID such as a driver’s license, passport, or social security card.

The written exam will test your understanding of the science behind cosmetology as well as the practical steps and application of your knowledge in areas such as nail care, hair styling, and even cleaning and sanitation.

The practical exam requires candidates to bring their own mannequins and supply kits and demonstrate a number of different skills to the test proctor. You’ll be read the instructions a maximum of two times and asked to perform various skills such as:

  • Thermal curling
  • Haircutting
  • Client preparation
  • Highlighting with foil
  • Hair color retouching
  • Applying hair relaxer
  • Dealing with blood exposure

Throughout each process, you will be required to meet all state guidelines for safety and sanitation.

To pass both exams you will need a minimum score of 75/100. If you fail, you are allowed unlimited retries, but you will need to continue paying exam fees.

How Much Do Hairstylists Make in South Carolina? 

Hairstylists in South Carolina make, on average, $29,570 annually. That works out to $14.21 per hour according to the most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2021.

Does South Carolina Have Continuing Education Requirements for Hairstylists? 

You’ll need to complete four hours of continuing education credits between each license renewal to retain your legal status as a hairdresser in South Carolina. Renewals occur every odd year. The online license renewal portal will allow you to renew online. There’s a $52 fee for renewals, that jumps to $152 if you let your license lapse.

Contact Information for Licensing Board

Licenses in South Carolina are managed by the South Carolina Board of Cosmetology, a section of the Labor Licensing Regulation Division. You can use the contact information below to reach them.

Website: South Carolina Board of Cosmetology
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (803) 896-4588