Board of Cosmetology

Anyone who wants to work in cosmetology and similar fields is required to obtain the proper license in the state of Ohio through the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology. The Board governs all aspects of the Cosmetology licensing process, from issuing credentials to managing exams and defining application requirements. Candidates must meet minimum training hour and pass an examination. Qualifying applicants who are licensed in other states may be eligible for license transfer in Ohio. The Board has recently changed is policy on examinations, which previously prohibited applicants from taking the test again after three failures.

Obtaining a license

In order to earn a Cosmetology license from the Board, students must complete the training requirements listed below. Applicants must attend an accredited institution of cosmetology or satisfy the educational requisites via the Apprenticeship Instructor Training Program. Candidates must pass the state cosmetology board exam, which consists of two sections: Practical and Theory.

  • Cosmetology License: 1500 hours
  • Managing Cosmetology License: 1800 hours
  • Hairstylist License: 1200 hours
  • Managing Hairstylist License: 1440 hours
  • Esthetician License: 750 hours
  • Esthetician Microdermabrasion License: 766 hours
  • Managing Esthetician License: 750 hours
  • Nail Technician License: 200 hours
  • Nail Technician – Electric File License: 208 hours
  • Nail Technician License: 300 hours
  • Barber License: 1800 hours
  • Cosmetology Instructor License: Managing Cosmetology License PLUS 1000 hours or 1 year salon experience
  • Massage Therapist License: 750 hours

Upon completion of training, applicants must pass both Practical and Theory examinations in order to qualify for a cosmetology license.

  • Theory Exam: This section of the same consists of 110 multiple choice questions and candidates are given 90 minutes to complete the test. Exam topics include such topics as proper sanitation and safety, as well as hair cutting practices, skin care and nail care.
  • Practical Exam: This portion of the test is an eleven-section, hands-on exam where applicants will perform certain cosmetology services on a mannequin hand and head. Proctors will give candidates instructions and observe candidates’ skills as they perform the directed task.
License transfer

Individuals with a valid, current Cosmetology license in another state can obtain their license in Ohio by undergoing the transfer process. Candidates must pass the Board’s Theory and Practical Exams, as well as the Manager’s Exam in order to obtain their Cosmetology license.

Maintaining a license

All Cosmetology licensees in the State of Ohio must renew their credentials every two years, by January 31 of every odd-numbered year. The cost for renewal is $45 if the paperwork is received on time; a $90 fee applies for late renewal applications.

Continuing education requirements

The Board requires all licensed Cosmetologists to complete at least eight hours of continuing education courses via a Board-approved educational institution prior to renewing their licenses.

Disciplinary actions

Cosmetology license holders are subject to disciplinary actions by the Board if they fail to abide by the professional rules of ethics. Common misconduct includes failure to properly post or maintain a license and violation of sanitation standards. The Board may put a licensee on probation, suspend the license holder from practicing cosmetology services or revoke the license, depending on the circumstances.

Three time examination rule change

Starting in February 2014, the Board issued a change to its examination policies. Prior to that time, Cosmetology candidates would have to return to an accredited school if they failed the exam three times. The new rule requires students to complete their schooling and pass the exam within five years after their original enrollment date in order to obtain their license; all hours are voided after the five years expires.