Barber Schools and License Requirements in Hawaii

Hawaii is home to top barbershops such as Mojo Barbershop, which has been mentioned in publications such as Haute Living, Start Advertiser, and Hawaii Business, among others. Further, Mojo was recognized as the 2011 Outstanding Minority-Owned Small Business by SCORE, a national nonprofit that focuses on small business development. Mojo is known for mixing old-school barbering with modern day style. This barbershop doubles as a social club, as well, and it provides beer, men’s magazines, and sports entertainment for customers.

For guidance on how to become a licensed barber in Hawaii, follow these steps:

Graduate from a 1500-Hour Barber Training School
Submit an Application for Examination, Licensure, and Temporary Permit
Pass the Hawaii State Written Licensing Examination
Explore Career Options and Renew your License Biannually

As a barber in Hawaii, you will have the opportunity to work at barbershops like this, or even to open your own barbershop with its own, distinct, masculine sophistication.

If you’re ready to start your career as a barber in Hawaii, you will first need to qualify for a license through the Hawaii Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. The Board regulates the different education and exam licensing requirements for beauty operators and barbers. As a barber, you will specialize in shaving, facials, and cutting, trimming, or styling hair.



Step 1. Graduate from a 1500-Hour Barber Training School

The Hawaii Board requires that you first complete a barber training program that offers at least 1500 hours of training. The Board requires that your barber school include the following barbering theory and practical training hours:

  • Barber Theory: 200 – 300 hours
  • Haircutting and Hairstyling: 350-900 hours
  • Hair Coloring, Relaxing, and Bleaching: 75-130 hours
  • Permanent Waving: 90-175 hours
  • Shampooing and Conditioning: 50-100 hours
  • Shaving, Moustache, and Beard Trims: 20-50 hours
  • Facials: 10-30 hours
  • Scalp Treatments: 5-15 hours
  • Shop Management and Sales: 40-65 hours
  • Sanitation and Sterilization Practices: 50-100 hours


After you complete the basic training program and obtain a Hawaii barber license, you may be able to return to your barber school for advanced courses. Taking advanced courses will keep you on the cutting edge of men’s style, fashion, and hairstyling techniques. The more services you learn to offer, the more clients you will be able to see.


Enter Zip:



Step 2. Submit an Application for Examination, Licensure, and Temporary Permit

Your next step is submitting an application to the Hawaii Board. If you are at least 17 years old, are a U.S. citizen, and have completed the 1500 hours of Hawaii barber training, then you are eligible to submit an application for the Hawaii licensing exam and barber license. To do this, simply complete the following steps:

Temporary Permit

The Hawaii Board offers temporary permits to those who wish to work before they are able to take the licensing exam. If you obtain a permit, you will be able to work, but only under the direct supervision of a qualified, licensed barber. This permit will last for one year, and it will only be issued one time. You must submit this temporary permit application along with your license application for it to be considered valid. To submit this permit applicatoin, complete the following steps:

Out-of-State Applicants

If you hold a barber license from another state, you will be able to apply for a Hawaii barber license through education and examination. Hawaii does not accept reciprocity, so you will need to take the Hawaii licensing exam. To submit an out-of-state application, you will have to submit a normal license application, along with the additional supporting documentation:

  • Out-of-State License
  • Official Transcripts that Identify Hours and Subjects
  • Attach a Barber Training Verification Form
  • Verification of 6 Months of Active, Barber Work Experience

You may submit all application materials to the Board at the following mailing address:

Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
DCCA, PLV Licensing Branch
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801



Step 3. Pass the Hawaii State Written Licensing Examination

Upon the approval of your application, the Board will notify you of your ability to take the written, licensing examination through sending you an “approval notice.” You must then register directly with Prometric, the Hawaii licensing exam vendor, for this exam. To schedule, complete the following steps:

You may schedule the exam for any of the Prometric testing sites in Hawaii. Prometric offers the barber licensing exam at the following Hawaii locations:

  • Hilo
  • Kauai
  • Kona
  • Maui
  • Oahu

The written, computer-based licensing exam will have 110 questions, and will take about two and a half hours for you to complete. This exam will test you on the following barber theory subject matters:

  • General Concepts
  • Hair and Scalp
  • Physical Services
  • Shampoo and Rinses
  • Facials and Shaving
  • Chemical Services
  • Hair Coloring
  • Chemical Waving
  • Hair Styling
  • Hair Shaping
  • Hair Cutting
  • Hawaii Laws, Rules, and Regulations

Your exam results will be mailed to you about two weeks after taking the examination. If you have passed, you will also be mailed final instructions to obtain your Hawaii barber license. Once you complete any final instructions, the Hawaii Board will issue you your Hawaii barber license.



Step 4. Explore Career Options and Renew your License Biannually

Once you are a licensed barber, you will be able to look for jobs at local barbershops, resort spas, or you could rent a chair in one of Hawaii’s established shops:

  • Mojo Barbershop – Honolulu
  • A’s Barber Shop Inc. – Honolulu
  • Kai Barber & Styling – Honolulu
  • The Barber Shoppe – Kahului
  • Michael’s Barber Shop – Honolulu

If you want to open your own barbershop, where you get to control the culture, atmosphere, and style of the shop, you may do so by obtaining a Hawaii barbershop license. Opening your own barbershop will allow you to be your own boss, schedule your own hours, and pick your own work location. To do this, you must currently have an active barber license and be in good standing. If so, complete the following steps to apply:

  • Read, Fill Out, and Submit Barbershop Application
  • Submit $202 (even-numbered year) or $122 (odd-numbered year) Application Fee

Once you submit this application, it will go to the Board for review. If you are accepted, you will be issued a Hawaii barbershop license, which will need to be renewed along with your barber license.

Your Hawaii barber license will expire on December 31st of odd-numbered years. You must renew the license before this date. The Board will mail you a renewal notice and application two months prior to the expiration date, and you will be responsible for returning this form to the Board along with the renewal fee.

Barber Salaries in Hawaii

The salaries of barbers vary dramatically depending on how much experience they have. More experienced barbers are typically highly skilled at providing services to their clients, so they earn higher salaries. In 2013, experienced barbers in Hawaii earned 1.86 times more than those who were new to the profession according to the state’s Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

The average salary for experienced barbers in Hawaii was $31,590, while those new to the profession earned $17,000 a year on average. The take home pay of these barbers will be higher than these figures indicate, because tipping adds such a substantial amount to their income.

Barber salaries by city in Hawaii:

Honolulu – $28,000
Hilo – $28,000
Pearl City – $28,000

Average Salaries of Barbers Throughout Hawaii

The average salary for barbers in Hawaii was $26,730. Those who practiced in Maui County had higher average salaries than those in Hawaii as a whole. These barbers earned an average of $29,553 a year.

In contrast, barbers in the Honolulu area had an average salary that was 5.6% lower than the average one for Hawaii. It was $25,220.

Employment Levels and Job Growth of Barbers in Hawaii

As of October 2014, 1,273 barbers had active licenses in Hawaii according to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. More than 84% of them were located in Oahu.

The practice of men’s hair care and tonsorial artistry is a growing field in Hawaii. The number of barbers in the state is expected to increase by 1.1% a year between 2012 and 2022 according to the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Back to Top