Requirements vary from state to state. For example, I'm from Texas, so I had to attend an accredited school for 1500 hours (40 hours/week equals about 9-10 months) with a spec…ific curriculum, after which taking a written exam as well as a practical (hands-on) state board examination. Some state require more hours, some less. Some states have tougher exams...it all depends on where you live..
I would recommend contacting a local cosmetology school, they'll be more than helpful with filling you in on what your state requires. Some are public (community-colleges and such) and some are private. Private are much more expensive, but the bottom line is they need to be able to help you pass your test. Most knowledge comes from several years of hands on experience. Contact local school and ask what their state board pass rates are. A really good school will be 90%+. ( Full Answer )