What is a Barber Crossover and How Do They Differ from a Licensed Cosmetologist?

So let’s say you already know you want to be a cosmetologist, or that you’ve already completed your 1600 clock hours of required coursework and earned your California Cosmetology license. That’s where the Barber Crossover training and courses come in.
The Barber Crossover study program is a secondary 400-hour course that has been put together by Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy, which is designated as 40 hours of theory instruction and 320 hours of practical training.

Once completed, the instructors at Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy will assess our students’ needs and will assign an additional 40 hours of theory instruction. The subjects in the Barber Crossover course of study include use of the theory in standard cosmetology courses, including those used in order to earn your diploma and license. This specialized “crossover” training will include additional subject areas that are crucial to barbering such as:

  • Haircutting
  • Shaving
  • Sanitation & Hygiene
  • Massage
  • Shampooing
  • Facials
  • Shop Management
  • Laws & Regulations
  • Hair Coloring & Hair Relaxing
  • Hairpieces
  • Hair Waving and Hair Styling

What is Covered During the Barber and Barber Crossover Courses?

During the technical instruction portion of the course, we will study all of the fundamentals of barbering and how to excel in your field once you’ve become fully immersed. We’ll dive into instruction through live demonstrations and class lectures (which include class participation), as well as quizzes and exams.
Because we keep our class sizes small here at Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy, we’re able to make the second portion of our Barber Crossover Program extremely hands-on, meaning you’ll get the opportunity to practice these techniques with hands-on and experienced educators.

barber giving a man a shave in a barbershop setting

Other key topics we cover that include the health & safety regulations and mandatory laws, such as those governed by the BBC and the BBC Act. We work on making sure every Barber Crossover student is well-versed in not only the law, but disinfection, sanitation, human anatomy, bacteriology and physiology knowledge to understand what will work well with different types of clients, no matter who you may encounter in your day-to-day business while either at the salon or out in the field working freelance.

Our barber and cosmetology instructors will walk you through each portion of the class, from performing expert hot shaves and using straight razors, to choosing and applying the proper hairpiece for your client. We also place a strong focus on teaching our students about the day-to-day management of a barber shop or salon as well as providing them with the workplace communication and customer service skills needed in order to not only merely survive as a Barber Crossover, but to thrive as the owner or manager of a successful barber shop.

How to Become a Barber Crossover in California

Once your additional 400 clock hours in the Barber Crossover course of study are complete, you’ll earn your certificate of attendance and then be prepared to take the California State Board Licensing Exam. One question we get asked a lot here at Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy is, “should I take the Barber Crossover courses immediately, following earning my Cosmetology Certificate and License?”

One way to answer that is simply based on the positive feedback we’ve received from our cosmetology and beauty students who opted to take the Barber Crossover supplemental right after completing the standard cosmetology program. Most of them would say, “absolutely, yes!”. Although it’s not necessary, there are some pretty well-defined opportunities for Barber Crossovers, which may not be presented to you as just a cosmetologist.

The California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology lays it all out pretty clearly on their site and we follow their course instruction concisely; but we also sprinkle in real-life scenarios and day-to-day musings to our courses, labs, and lectures.

barbering services being performed in a shop

For instance, they ask that we spend 10 hours of class instruction on disinfection and sanitation – which is crucial to any salon and includes a lot of the basic fundamentals that we learn while at cosmetology school. But they also ask that we spend another 10 hours demonstrating sanitation and disinfection in a “lab” or salon-setting, which they refer to as “Practical Operations”. This portion is hands-on. While some beauty academies or cosmetology schools may simply cover the basics and give you just enough to get you by, the instructors at Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy take the time to show you what works in real-life scenarios, such as how to expertly clean equipment in the most efficient manner while working with a full book of clients that demand your time. It’s the little things like this that separate us from other beauty schools.

Getting Started as a Barber or Barber Crossover in Orange County, California

That said, if you’re looking to add to your existing education and set of cosmetology skills, and to delve into study as a Barber Crossover, consider Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy in Santa Ana, California. With a world-class facility and a clean, safe campus located in the heart of Orange County, Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy can be a great place to earn your Cosmetology fundamentals and foundation, as well as prepare for the California State Cosmetology Exam.

For more information on becoming a licensed cosmetologist in California, or if you live in Orange County (OC) and would like to speak to one of our Admissions Specialists in order to schedule a no-obligation tour of our cosmetology school and get a good feel for the campus, location as well as the student-culture at Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy, we’d love to hear from you! Simply call us at 833-841-4201 and we’ll schedule you for a free consultation at a time that fits your schedule!

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