Hairstylists in Virginia are in high demand! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hairstyling industry is projected to grow by double figures for the next decade, much faster than the average for all occupations. With a wide range of job opportunities available, hairstylists can find work in salons, spas, resorts, or even cruise ships. In addition to cutting and styling hair, many hairstylists also provide color services, nail care, and makeup application.
As a result, they need to be well-rounded professionals with a strong understanding of trends and techniques. If you’re interested in becoming a hairstylist in Virginia, the first step is to find a reputable hair school and this site has a huge database of schools that will help you earn your license. Read on to learn more about Virginia’s requirements for becoming a hairdresser and find a school near you.
Hair Schools in Virginia
State Requirements for Hairstylist Licensing in Virginia
In Virginia, you can earn a hairstylist license by completing an approved cosmetology program of at least 1,500 hours or completing an apprenticeship with at least 3,000 of work within an 18-month span under the supervision of a licensed cosmetologist.
After you complete your program or apprenticeship you can submit an application and fee to take the state’s two cosmetology exams, the written and practical exams which are available at locations across the state.
Once you pass both exams you can pay your licensing fee and begin working as a hairstylist in Virginia. License applications can be found online on the Professional Credential Services (PCS) website.
If you held a license and worked in another state you can submit a training and experience verification form.
How Much Do Virginia Hair Schools Cost?
Most cosmetology and hair design programs in Virginia last between 11 and 13 months and will have a total price tag of around $19,000 once you factor in the cost of tuition along with books and supplies. However, the price of tuition can vary quite a bit if you shop around. On the low end, you can find some schools hovering around $10,000 while some on the high end can run as high as $18,500.
Required Skills and Classes
The first aim of any beauty school you enroll in is to train you to be a successful hairstylist. But before you can do that, you’ll need to pass the Virginia state tests. Fortunately, your school will have a curriculum that will assist you in both these goals. When you enter a cosmetology program, you’ll likely receive a deep dive on many subjects including:
- Hair design
- Scalp care
- Shampooing and conditioning
- Hair coloring
- Hair styling
- Hair removal
- Hair enhancement
- Sanitation and safety
Outside of the technical skills and the knowledge you’ll need to succeed, some programs will go into depth on other subjects that might prove useful such as:
- Client communication
- Business management
- Career development
State Licensing Exam
Virginia has two exams that you must pass before earning your license as a cosmetologist which allows you to work as a hairstylist throughout the state. You can apply online via the PSI website. You must take both exams within one year for the scores to be valid.
There is an $86 fee for each exam, and you’ll need to pay the fee again if you fail and decide to retake it.
The written exam is computer-based and you’ll complete a series of multiple-choice questions based on the practical and theoretical knowledge learned during your apprenticeship or classroom experience. There is also a series of questions specific to Virginia’s laws and regulations for cosmetologists.
The questions fall into five categories:
- Scientific concepts
- Hair care
- Skin care
- Nail care
- Laws and regulations
The practical exam requires you to show off your skills in front of an evaluator. You’ll be responsible for all equipment including mannequin heads and supplies. You’ll need to transition between a number of skills, while maintaining proper safety protocols throughout.
- Client setup and disinfection
- Dealing with a blood spill
- Thermal curling
- Blow drying
- Eyebrow waxing
- Hair coloring
- Color patch test
- Color retouching
- Hair lightening
- Chemical relaxing
- Relaxing retouching
- Hair foiling
- Cleanup and disinfection
A score of 75 is required to pass both the written and theory exams. You’ll receive your score immediately upon completing each exam.
How Much Do Hairstylists Make in Virginia?
According to the most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for hairstylists in Virginia is $37,400 annually or $17.98 hourly. That is in the top third of pay rates for hairstylists in the United States.
Does Virginia Have Continuing Education Requirements for Hairstylists?
In Virginia, you need to renew your license as a hairstylist every two years. While some states require hairstylists and cosmetologists to complete continuing education credits, Virginia does not. You will, however, have to pay a $105 license renewal fee. You can renew your license online here.
Contact Information for Licensing Board
The Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation manages licensing for hairdressers and cosmetologists in Virginia. Their contact information is below.
Website: Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
Email: Contact form
Phone: (804) 367-8590