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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.
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.