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California Cosmetology Licensing

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Education Requirements for Cosmetologists in California

When you think about beauty and cosmetology, you probably think about the glamorous state of California. If you want to start a beauty career in a place with plenty of options and diverse beauty needs, California is definitely the place to be. With its huge population and tons of major cities, California has one of the biggest and most active beauty industries in the United States.

In order to earn a CA cosmetology license, you must meet the licensing standards of the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. At minimum, you’ll need to complete 1600 hours at an approved beauty school.

There is some flexibility in your schedule for learning about popular local styles and trends, but you must meet these minimum training standards to get licensed:

• Hairstyling (305 hours)
• Waving and straightening (145 hours)
• Coloring and bleaching (110 hours)
• Haircutting (100 hours)
• Laws and regulations (20 hours)
• Health and safety (45 hours)
• Disinfection and sanitation (20 hours)
• Anatomy and physiology (15 hours)
• Facials (65 hours)
• Eyebrows and makeup (55 hours)
• Manicuring and pedicuring (35 hours)
• Artificial nails (145 hours)

There are some topics that are part of the California Board of Cosmetology license requirements, but they are highly recommended by the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. These topics include communication skills, salesmanship, professional ethics, record keeping, and client service records. While these skills may not contribute to your hands-on cosmetology abilities, they are an important part of providing good customer service and being able to work independently.

The beauty industry of California can always use young, passionate stylists to meet the needs of customers all over the state. Find out what the next step is by contacting cosmetology schools in California.

California Cosmetology License Requirements

By far, education is the biggest and most time-consuming part of earning a California cosmetology license. Still, you have plenty to do once you finish your training and get out of beauty school.

These are the standards and fees of applying for a California state cosmetology license:

• $75 application and exam fee, plus a $9 pre-application fee
• Payments only accepted by check and money order
• $50 initial license fee
• May qualify for examination by completing 1,600 training hours or 3,200 apprenticeship hours
• Exams are offered in English, Vietnamese, Spanish, and Korean

Maintaining tight licensing expectations protects your career and actually helps you thrive in the beauty industry. Before cosmetology was regulated as a profession, anyone could call themselves a cosmetologist or hairdresser.

This meant that customers could end up with untrained, unskilled practitioners who did not know how to safely and effectively use chemicals and tools. At best, a customer could end up with a style or color they hated. At worst, they could end up with permanent skin damage or burns from improper use of chemicals. Licensing ensures that customers can feel safe seeking cosmetology services at a salon or spa.

Requirements for Renewing Your Cosmetology License in California

Like many other states, California has no laws on the book regarding continuing education. You should still consider attending continuing education courses whenever possible, since your success as a cosmetologist depends on your ability to keep up with new techniques, tools, and trends.

Although you do not have to earn continuing education hours, part of learning how to get a cosmetology license in California is knowing when to renew your license. In California, licenses must be renewed every two years. The renewal fee is $50 when you pay on time or $75 if you pay late.

With the right training, you could become a California cosmetologist in less than a year. Get more information with our list of California beauty schools below.

Find Cosmetology Programs in California

Bellus Academy – Accredited
Chula Vista, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Make-Up Artist Training / Barbering
Bellus Academy – Accredited
El Cajon, CA
Barbering / Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Make-Up Artist Training
Bellus Academy – Accredited
Poway, CA
Barbering / Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Make-Up Artist Training / Nail Technology
Stockton, CA
Barbering / Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
Palm Desert, CA
Barbering / Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care
Danville, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care
Vacaville, CA
Barbering / Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care
Milan Institute – Accredited
Bakersfield, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Massage Therapy / Barbering
Milan Institute – Accredited
Clovis, CA
Barbering / Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Massage Therapy / Nail Technology
Milan Institute – Accredited
Merced, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Milan Institute – Accredited
Palm Desert, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Massage Therapy / Barbering
Milan Institute – Accredited
Visalia, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Massage Therapy
Granada Hills, CA
Barbering / Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care
Paul Mitchell – Accredited
Modesto, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Torrance, CA
Barbering / Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Massage Therapy / Nail Technology

Find Cosmetology Schools Near You

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Rosemead, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Massage Therapy / Barbering
San Diego, CA
Barbering / Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
ABA Beauty School – Accredited
Panorama City, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
ABC Adult School – Accredited
Cerritos, CA
Cosmetology
Los Angeles, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology / Barbering
Northridge, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care
Academy of Beauty – Accredited
Culver City, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care
San Fernando, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Tracy, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Turlock, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
Garden Grove, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Laguna Hills, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Corona, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Alhambra, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology / Barbering
Santa Maria, CA
Cosmetology
Brawley, CA
Cosmetology
Palmdale, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Make-Up Artist Training / Barbering
West Covina, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
San Diego, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Rosemead, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology / Massage Therapy
Amy Beauty School – Accredited
Corona, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology
Lakeside, CA
Cosmetology
Asel Beauty College – Accredited
Garden Grove, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Barbering
San Rafael, CA
Cosmetology
Westminster, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Aveda Institute – Accredited
Los Angeles, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care
Baldwin Park, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
San Leandro, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
Barstow, CA
Cosmetology
San Francisco, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
National City, CA
Cosmetology
Lakewood, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Santa Fe Springs, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Pasadena, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Barbering
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology / Barbering
Victorville, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology / Barbering
Butte College – Accredited
Oroville, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology / Barbering
Sacramento, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Barbering
Modesto, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
Seaside, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care
La Mesa, CA
Cosmetology
Garden Grove, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Stockton, CA
Cosmetology
Cen Beauty Academy – Accredited
Riverside, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
El Dorado, CA
Cosmetology
Cerritos College – Accredited
Norwalk, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Massage Therapy
San Francisco, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Make-Up Artist Training / Barbering
San Jose, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Make-Up Artist Training / Barbering
Citrus College – Accredited
Glendora, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Massage Therapy
Citrus Heights, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
Hemet, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
La Quinta, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Fountain Valley, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology / Massage Therapy / Barbering
Hemet, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology / Massage Therapy / Barbering
Coba Academy – Accredited
Anaheim, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Barbering
San Mateo, CA
Cosmetology
Visalia, CA
Cosmetology
Compton College – Accredited
Compton, CA
Cosmetology
Vallejo, CA
Cosmetology
San Diego, CA
Cosmetology
Sacramento, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
Cosmotek College – Accredited
San Jose, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Massage Therapy / Make-Up Artist Training / Barbering
Garden Grove, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
Fairfield, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Barbering
San Francisco, CA
Cosmetology
Paso Robles, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care
South El Monte, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Massage Therapy
Vacaville, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
Thousand Oaks, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
Los Angeles, CA
Cosmetology / Hair Design / Nail Technology
Los Angeles, CA
Cosmetology / Hair Design / Nail Technology
El Camino College – Accredited
Torrance, CA
Cosmetology / Massage Therapy
Visalia, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology
Los Angeles, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Pomona, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Nail Technology
Sacramento, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Barbering
Federico College – Accredited
Fresno, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Santa Clarita, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Make-Up Artist Training / Barbering
Eureka, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Fremont, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Make-Up Artist Training
Fullerton College – Accredited
Fullerton, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Massage Therapy
Gavilan College – Accredited
Gilroy, CA
Cosmetology
Woodland Hills, CA
Barbering / Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
Glendale, CA
Cosmetology
Golden West College – Accredited
Huntington Beach, CA
Cosmetology
La Puente, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
Orange, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology / Barbering
Hesperia, CA
Cosmetology / Hair Design / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Make-Up Artist Training
Daly City, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Nail Technology
Vallejo, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
Hoss Lee Academy – Accredited
Roseville, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care
Stockton, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Santa Maria, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Clovis, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
South Gate, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Barbering
San Francisco, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Los Angeles, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Oakland, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Make-Up Artist Training
Palm Desert, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Massage Therapy / Barbering
Canoga Park, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
San Diego, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
JLC Beauty School – Accredited
City of Industry, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
Los Angeles, CA
Cosmetology
Long Beach, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
Katie Skills Center – Accredited
Oakland, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Massage Therapy / Barbering
KC Beauty Academy – Accredited
Los Angeles, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Barbering
King Beauty College – Accredited
Garden Grove, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Milpitas, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
Lancaster, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Laney College – Accredited
Oakland, CA
Cosmetology
Hanford, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology
Selma, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Los Angeles, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Los Angeles, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
Lu Ross Academy – Accredited
Ventura, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Make-Up Artist Training / Barbering
Bakersfield, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
Fresno, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
Santa Rosa, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care
Upland, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology
Whittier, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology
South Gate, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology
San Rafael, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Barbering
North Hollywood, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
Master Academy – Accredited
Long Beach, CA
Cosmetology / Make-Up Artist Training / Barbering
La Quinta, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care
Oceanside, CA
Cosmetology
Sacramento, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology / Barbering
Oxnard, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology / Barbering
Hayward, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Barbering
Oakland, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
San Pablo, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
Santa Clara, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
Sacramento, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
Sacramento, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Sacramento, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology
Oakland, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Make-Up Artist Training / Barbering
Los Angeles, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
Modesto, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Los Angeles, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Esthetics/Skin Care / Barbering
San Marcos, CA
Cosmetology
Concord, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Massage Therapy
Pasadena, CA
Cosmetology / Massage Therapy
Paul Mitchell – Accredited
Costa Mesa, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Barbering
Paul Mitchell – Accredited
Fresno, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
Paul Mitchell – Accredited
Pasadena, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Paul Mitchell – Accredited
Pleasant Hill, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
Paul Mitchell – Accredited
Sacramento, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Paul Mitchell – Accredited
San Diego, CA
Cosmetology
San Jose, CA
Cosmetology
Paul Mitchell – Accredited
Sherman Oaks, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
Paul Mitchell – Accredited
Temecula, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
Paul Mitchell – Accredited
Truckee, CA
Cosmetology
Pomona, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
Reedley, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
El Monte, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Nail Technology / Barbering
Reseda, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Redondo Beach, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Bakersfield, CA
Cosmetology
Bell, CA
Cosmetology
Riverside, CA
Cosmetology / Massage Therapy
Rosemead, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Massage Therapy
Temecula, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
RTC College – Accredited
Jurupa Valley, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Barbering
SABA Beauty School – Accredited
Lake Forest, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Sacramento, CA
Cosmetology / Massage Therapy
Laguna Hills, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Nail Technology / Massage Therapy / Barbering
Mission Viejo, CA
Cosmetology
Salinas, CA
Cosmetology / Hair Design / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
Corona, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
Fontana, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology
Redlands, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
Riverside, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology / Make-Up Artist Training / Barbering
Upland, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Make-Up Artist Training / Barbering
West Covina, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Make-Up Artist Training / Barbering
San Bernardino, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Massage Therapy / Barbering
San Diego, CA
Cosmetology
San Francisco, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
San Jose, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care
San Luis Obispo, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology / Barbering
Santa Ana, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Santa Ana, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Massage Therapy / Barbering
Santa Barbara, CA
Cosmetology / Massage Therapy
San Jose, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
Santa Monica, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology / Massage Therapy
Orange, CA
Cosmetology / Massage Therapy
Woodland Hills, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care
Redding, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Merced, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Simi Valley, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Skyline College – Accredited
San Bruno, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Massage Therapy
Fairfield, CA
Cosmetology / Massage Therapy
Sonora, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
Escondido, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Torrance, CA
Cosmetology
Los Angeles, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Barbering
Garden Grove, CA
Cosmetology / Teacher Training / Nail Technology
Oakland, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
San Jose, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care
Pomona, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Massage Therapy
Sacramento, CA
Cosmetology / Make-Up Artist Training / Barbering
Woodland, CA
Cosmetology / Make-Up Artist Training / Barbering
Costa Mesa, CA
Cosmetology
Los Angeles, CA
Cosmetology
Santa Ana, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology / Barbering
Los Angeles, CA
Cosmetology / Nail Technology
Inglewood, CA
Cosmetology / Hair Design / Nail Technology / Make-Up Artist Training
City of Industry, CA
Cosmetology
Chowchilla, CA
Cosmetology
Huntington Beach, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care
Salinas, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Barbering
Woodland Hills, CA
Cosmetology
Reseda, CA
Barbering / Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology
San Francisco, CA
Cosmetology / Barbering
Marysville, CA
Cosmetology
ZMS The Academy – Accredited
Los Angeles, CA
Cosmetology / Esthetics/Skin Care / Nail Technology / Permanent Make-Up / Electrology / Barbering
Manteca, CA
Cosmetology
Modesto, CA
Cosmetology
Santa Monica, CA
Cosmetology
School Accreditation

You must attend a school that is approved by your state to provide training in the discipline you want to practice. Check with the school and the state board to be sure that your program of study will prepare you for any applicable state licensure.