Kentucky Licensing Overview for a Barber

Licensing for a barber in Kentucky is controlled by the Kentucky Board of Barbering.

General Guidelines for a Barber in Kentucky

Specific requirements to perform barber services can generally be used as a guideline, but make sure to check with your local governing rules and regulations.

Who’s allowed to perform these services?

Anyone holding a barber license

General requirements for a barber license?

Barber – 1,500 Hours OR 9-Month Apprenticeship

What’s the state licensing site for a barber?

Kentucky Board of Barbering

What are some training programs available for a barber?

See training programs

How long is a license good for and when do I need to renew?

Every year

What are fees associated with licensing?


Barber Licensing

A barber is a professional who specializes in the cutting, styling, and grooming of men and boy’s hair and beards. This profession has a long-standing history filled with tradition and is an important subsection of the beauty industry. Many of the techniques and tools of barbering are as old as the profession itself. This includes the tools, techniques and overall aesthetic of the barbershop itself. Barbers are experts in their field. A barber’s job is primarily in customer satisfaction, which revolves around the customer service, friendliness, and communication of the barber in conjunction with the execution of a sharp and precise haircut.

To become a licensed barber in the state of Kentucky there are several steps that must be taken.

  1. The completion of a formal barber program or apprenticeship
  2. Pass the probationary barber examination
  3. Undertake state licensing exams
  4. Ensure your license remains up to date


The completion of a formal barber program or apprenticeship

In Kentucky, formal barber training is necessary to become licensed. Students complete a minimum of 1,500 hours of registered coursework at a barber college.

To become a licensed barber through an apprenticeship, students are required to complete a minimum 9-month training apprenticeship under the direct supervision of a fully licensed barber.


Pass the probationary barber examination

Upon the completion of barber training, barbers are required to register for a probationary barber examination. To undertake this exam, barbers must be at least 17 ½ years old and have graduated from high school. This is a written exam that is designed to test a barbers knowledge on topics such as:

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

Upon completion of this probationary exam, barbers are required to pay $50 for their probationary license to practice in Kentucky. Barbers are then required to undertake 6 months of probationary barber work under the strict supervision of a fully licensed barber. At the successful completion of this 6 month period, barbers are able to register for the Kentucky state barber license.


Undertake state licensing exams

Kentucky is responsible for producing their own state barber examinations. The main concepts that are covered in the practical examination may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Set up and client protection
  • Haircutting
  • Shaving with a straight razor
  • Chemical Waving
  • Virgin hair lightening
  • Chemical Relaxing

Barbers will be sent an official notice from the Board detailing their results from their examinations. If successful, barbers will be eligible to apply for licensure to practice within the state of Kentucky. There will be a $50 fee for this license.


Ensure your license remains up to date

Licensed barbers are required to update their license each year on July 1st. This can be done easily online through the Kentucky State Board’s online license renewal portal. There is a $50 renewal fee for this license.

There is currently no ongoing education needs for barbers during their licensing period in the state of Kentucky. However, many barbers may choose to undertake ongoing education to further their career opportunities and stay up to date in current fashions and trends.