As home to former Miss America, Heather French Henry, and the posh Kentucky Derby, it’s easy to understand why Kentucky is an excellent place to begin a career in the beauty industry. It seems that although ladies enjoy showing off their fancy hats at the Kentucky Derby, they still need to have their hair and make-up at its best.
Joseph’s Salon and Spa in Louisville was named one of Elle Magazine’s “Top 100 Salons in the U.S.” in 2014. Joseph’s is known for being on the cutting edge of beauty trends and was the first salon in Kentucky to offer Aveda products. With over 90 employees, the salon has become one of the largest in the state.
Mi is another large salon located in Florence and draws clients from northern Kentucky as well as the Cincinnati area. Mi offers the complete salon experience, offering just about any beauty service you could want or need – from the latest in skin and nail care treatments to classically elegant hairstyling.
If you aspire to work to beautify hair, nails or skin, you’ll find near-endless career opportunities in Kentucky’s chic salons, destination spas, and neighborhood barbershops.
The number of salon jobs is expected to increase by about 13% nationally through 2022, making the salon industry very attractive, especially for those who are able to establish a loyal client base.
|Becoming a Cosmetologist in Kentucky|
|Becoming a Manicurist in Kentucky|
|Becoming an Esthetician in Kentucky|
|Becoming a Barber in Kentucky|
Your career as a cosmetologist, esthetician, or manicurist starts when you become licensed through the Kentucky Board of Hairdressers & Cosmetologists. If you’re interested in becoming a barber in Kentucky, you will work with the Kentucky Board of Barbering to become licensed.
Becoming a Cosmetologist in Kentucky
As a cosmetologist, you will develop long term relationships with customers that will come to you for expert hair care and styling services. Your cosmetology license will allow you to perform nail and skincare treatments, but hairdressing services will be your bread and butter.
The state of Kentucky requires 1800 hours of beauty school instruction in cosmetology to be eligible to apply for Apprentice Cosmetologist certification. You must then work for a minimum of six months under the supervision of a licensed cosmetologist before being allowed to apply for the cosmetologist license.
There are more than a dozen cosmetology schools to choose from in Kentucky. A typical curriculum will consist of the following:
- History of cosmetology
- Life skills; professional image and communicating for success
- Infection control
- Chemistry and electricity
- Properties of hair & scalp
- Principles of hair design
- Shampooing, rinsing & conditioning
- Haircutting; hairstyling; braiding;
- Wigs & hair enhancements
- Chemical texture services and hair-coloring
- Histology of skin
- Hair removal
- Facials and facial make-up
- Manicuring; pedicuring and advanced nail techniques
- Salon business; seeking employment and job seeking
Upon completion of the required coursework, you must take the Apprentice Cosmetologist exam through the Kentucky Board of Hairdressers & Cosmetologists. The exam consists of a theory and practical examination.
If you are coming to Kentucky with out-of-state certification, you must provide the license or documented certification hours from your former state’s board, and be prepared to take the exam for the state of Kentucky.
Cloud 9 Salon & Spa in Florence was voted “Best of NKY” in NKY Magazine in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The salon prides itself on exceeding the expectations of each customer. Its name says it all – the salon strives to promote a feeling of well-being through excellent service and high level hair and spa treatments.
Kentucky has many other excellent salons including:
- Head Liners Salon & Spa in Elizabethtown
- Xhale Salon – Spa in in Louisville
- 501 Salon & Spa in Bellevue
Becoming a Manicurist in Kentucky
As a manicurist you will need a steady hand for the delicate work at hand. You must also be able to sit still for long periods of time while meticulously working on your clients’ hands and feet to make them into customized works of art.
Kentucky requires you to complete 600 hours of formal instruction to be eligible to take the state exam. Areas of study included in these training programs are:
- Nail care
- Acrylic and gel application
- Client consultations
- Retail training
Upon completion of the required coursework, you must take the Nail Technician exam through the Kentucky Board of Hairdressers & Cosmetologists. The exam consists of a theory and practical examination.
If you are coming to Kentucky with out-of-state certification, you must provide the license or certification hours from the state board where it was obtained and be prepared to take the exam for the state of Kentucky
As a manicurist you will have the opportunity to develop strong relationships with your customers because you will be spending so much time sitting and facing them while working on their nails. Building these relationships will result in larger tips and returning customers. You can work at specialty salons that handle only nails or choose a larger full service salon for employment.
American Nails has two locations in the Louisville area and specializes in French manicures. It also offers a variety of artificial nail choices including powder gels and basic acrylic. The salon allows customers to customize their experience to their individual needs.
Other great nail salons in Kentucky include:
- Bella Nails & Spa in in Louisville
- Golden Nails in Louisville
- G Spa Nails in Florence.
Becoming an Esthetician in Kentucky
Everyone wants beautiful skin, especially when it comes to the complexion of the face. This is one area that can’t be hidden under hats or gloves and therefore estheticians have an important job. As an esthetician in Kentucky you will be tasked with advising customers the best treatment options for their skin types and then performing the treatment. Learning to give hand and shoulder massages and body wraps will expand your opportunities within this field.
You may also be required to give chemical peels, lasers and waxing equipment.
In Kentucky, you are required to complete 1000 hours of instruction through an esthetics program offered at a beauty college before taking the licensing exam.
Coursework will be broken down into three areas, which include the following subjects:
- Professional practices
- Basic facials
- Hair removal
- Advanced esthetic topics
- Basic facials
- Hair removal
- Variations of facials
- Spa body treatments
- Corrective makeup
- Machine treatments
- Advance treatments
- Salon and spa success
- Spa management
- Career planning
- State board prep
- Creating a spa environment
Upon completion of the required coursework, you must take the Esthetician exam through the Kentucky Board of Hairdressers & Cosmetologists. The exam consists of a theory and practical examination. If you are coming to Kentucky with out-of-state certification, you must provide the license or certification hours from the state board where it was obtained and be prepared to take the exam for the state of Kentucky
Estheticians can choose to work in luxurious spa settings or professional medical clinics. Whichever you prefer, you will have plenty of opportunities in Kentucky to find sustainable work.
CaloSpa Rejuvenation Center in Louisville is proud to offer the newest medical and spa techniques in its opulent setting. The salon is also an “Allergan Black Diamond Partner” and is dedicated to the highest level of patient care.
Additional spas and medical centers in Kentucky include:
- Belle Vie MedSpa in Lexington
- Woodhouse Day Spa in Somerset
- Thrive Makeup & Skincare Studio in Louisvilled day spa procedures
Becoming a Barber in Kentucky
As a barber in Kentucky you will learn to use a variety of grooming accessories such as shavers, straight edge blades and scissors. Men’s cuts can as complicated if not more than women’s cuts so a steady hand and creative edge are important in this career.
Barbers in Kentucky require a minimum of 1500 hours of instruction including the following subject matter:
- Instruments- 30 hours
- Shaving instructions- 100 hours
- Haircutting for men, women and children- 935 hours
- Shampooing- 40 hours
- Permanent waving- 40 hours
- Hair coloring- 40 hours
- Hair straightening and relaxing- 40 hours
- Massaging- 35 hours
- Scalp and skin diseases- 20 hours
- Physiology and anatomy of the head, face and neck- 100 hours
- Sterilization and sanitation- 40 hours
- Hygiene- 10 hours
- Bacteriology-20 hours
- Electricity- 10 hours
- Pharmacology- 20 hours
- Psychology- 10 hours
- History, professional ethics and other information- 10 hours
The Kentucky Board of Barbering issues all barber licenses. In Kentucky there is not a written exam for barbers. You will take a practical, timed exam in which you will have to perform one of the following techniques chosen by the Board:
- Permanent wave
- Applying straightener
- Applying color
Barbering will require you to not only shave, shape or cut hair, but also give scalp massages, facials, and understand application of various lotions, powders and cosmetics. You can choose to work in a salon that is unisex or choose a true barbershop that deals with only male clientele. Whichever you choose, you will still need to be creative while listening to your customer’s requests. Nothing ruins a relationship with a client like giving them a cut they didn’t ask for.
Traditional Trims Barbershop in Lexington is one of those shops that have earned a reputation for listening to its customers and this is reflected in its reviews and return business. The Rooster’s Nest Barber Shop and Shave Parlor in Lexington is all male décor with nothing feminine make a man feel like they’re in a beauty salon instead of a barbershop.
Other top choices for barber shops in Kentucky include:
- Bonnie’s Barber Shop in Louisville
- East End Barber Shop in Louis
- Olde Town Barber Shop in Jeffersontown