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Hair Schools in Tennessee

Hair design is a discipline that encompasses the study of hair and scalp care, hair styling, and haircutting. It is an important aspect of cosmetology, and hair stylists must be licensed in order to practice their craft.

Tennessee is home to a number of hair schools that can provide the training necessary to become a hairstylist. The benefits of becoming a hairstylist include the ability to work independently, set one’s own hours, and choose one’s own clients. Additionally, hair stylists can earn a good income and enjoy a high level of job satisfaction.

If you’re considering a career as a hairstylist, you’ve come to the right place. This page will provide you with information on how to become a hairstylist, how much they earn, and where you can find a hair school near you in Tennessee.

Hair Schools in Tennessee

The state of Tennessee has some baseline requirements a person must meet before being eligible to become a hairstylist or cosmetologist. First, you must be at least 16 years old. You must also have completed a minimum of two years of high school or received a score of 38% or better on the GED or HiSET exam.

If you meet those criteria, you’ll also need to complete a state-accredited cosmetology program with a minimum of 1,500 hours of coursework. Once you’ve graduated from your program you can apply for the state’s written and practical exams. Once those are passed you simply need to pay your initial licensing application fee of $60 and then you can work legally as a hairstylist in Tennessee.

How Much Do Tennessee Hair Schools Cost?

Tuition costs at beauty schools in Tennessee can be all over the map. While cost shouldn’t be your number one criterion, it certainly is a factor for many aspiring hairstylists. So, what should you expect to pay? On the low end, you can find some beauty schools and technical schools that offer tuition as low as $10,000 for a twelve-month program. On the higher end, some nationally known beauty school chains can charge in the neighborhood of $17,000 for tuition. Keep in mind that you may have additional fees for supplies and books to add on top of that, usually around $2,000.

You won’t find too much variance in pricing at the hair schools in Tennessee. On average, you should expect to pay about $13,700 for tuition alone. You’ll also likely need to pay for some of the books and supplies you’ll use during the program, though that will vary a bit depending on the school you attend. You should probably budget $2,500 for those costs. Most programs will take about 12 months to complete before you can sit for the state exams.

Required Skills and Classes

As you embark upon your education to become a hairstylist you’ll need to complete a cosmetology program geared towards preparing you for the state’s exams. However, there’s more than just teaching to a test, you’ll need to learn the real-world skills required to work as a hairstylist. Classes will cover both the theory and technique behind:

  • Shampooing and rinsing
  • Scalp and hair care
  • Hair styling
  • Makeup training
  • Brow and lash care
  • Proper techniques for using hair chemicals
  • Sterilization and sanitation
  • Business ethics
  • Manicures

Some programs will go into other business skills like communication, management, and sales. While you’ll certainly get a full education related to hair, if you’re interested in other skills that might make you more marketable, be sure to inquire with the school before you sign up.

State Licensing Exam

Tennessee’s exams are managed by a national testing service – PSI. You can find more information on testing dates on their website.

As mentioned above, there are two different exams you’ll need to pass. The written exam covers the theoretical knowledge you learned in your beauty school program and will cover topics such as:

  • Sanitation and safety
  • Hair coloring
  • Chemical texturing
  • Styling and cutting hair
  • Licensing rules and regulations
  • Hair braids and extensions
  • Skin and nail care
  • Shampooing and conditioning

You’ll have two hours to complete the written exam.

The practical exam requires you to demonstrate your skills to an evaluator in just under three hours. You’ll need to supply your own mannequins and equipment for the exam. You’ll need to show competence in a variety of hair design and cosmetology processes such as:

  • Client setup
  • Use of relaxer and chemicals
  • Hair coloring and lightening
  • Haircutting and styling
  • Pin curls
  • Waving hair
  • Disinfection and sanitizing

Both the written and practical exams have a fee of $70.

How Much Do Hairstylists Make in Tennessee? 

The average annual salary for a hairstylist in Tennessee is $34,540 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent data. That works out to hourly pay of $16.60.

Does Tennessee Have Continuing Education Requirements for Hairstylists? 

In Tennessee, hairstylists are required to renew their licenses every two years. As part of the renewal process, they must show proof of completing 16 continuing education units (CEUs) with each renewal, along with a payment of $60. You can renew your license on the Department of Commerce & Insurance website here.

Contact Information for Licensing Board

Hairstylist licenses are managed in Tennessee by the Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners. If you need to contact them directly, their information is below.

Website: Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (615) 741-2515