The Barber Project
A Movement to Empower Barbers
The barbering profession offers huge opportunities for talented, hard-working individuals. By honing their skills, barbers have the chance to build fulfilling careers and achieve a lot of success, providing for their families and their communities. Barbers can also foster a sense of community, and create spaces where people gather, share stories, and connect with one another.
Despite the profession’s rich and important history, barbers often face serious regulatory barriers that make a fulfilling career difficult and expensive to achieve. States force barbers to spend up to 2,100 hours in school – even if they already know how to perform the services, or can learn from a trusted mentor.
Many barbers benefit from traditional barbering school—but we’ve heard from many that it can also be a waste of time, learning skills barbers already know, or spending many on course hours when you could be learning on the job and getting paid.
There are alternatives to the current way that states regulate barbers, that don’t force them to spend so much time and money on traditional programs. Even just dropping hours would help save substantial time and money; New York only requires 291 hours in school.
We want to understand what barriers barbers are facing and what needs to change so that the craft can continue to thrive. We are the Institute for Justice, a national nonprofit that has worked to reduce barriers in the beauty industry for the last twenty years. We have been talking to barbers across the country and we want to hear your thoughts!
Complaints we have heard from barbers
Barbers have complained about the high cost and restrictive nature of licensing laws in the United States.
We believe barbers deserve better.
While protecting health and safety is paramount, state laws should not keep talented and dedicated barbers from a fulfilling career cutting hair for arbitrary reasons, nor should they overburden existing barbers with pointless regulations and restrictions. Tell us your thoughts and let us know what you wish was different in your state!
Share Your Thoughts
Did you know?
Despite the profession’s rich and important history, barbers often face pointless regulatory barriers that make a fulfilling career difficult and expensive to achieve.