A cosmetologist provides services to enhance the appearance of the head by the application of heat, water, solutions, dyes and reactive chemicals to alter the color, straighten, or curl the structure of the hair of a human being. Cosmetologists provide services to enhance the appearance of the face, neck, arms, legs, and shoulders of a human being by using compounds such as makeup, depilatories, and waxes; or through procedures such as tweezing; or by cleaning, cutting, shaping, or polishing the nails and applying and removing sculptured or artificial nails.
Esthetician -- Provides services to enhance the appearance of the face, neck, arms, legs, and shoulders of a human being by using compounds such as makeup, depilatories, and waxes, or procedures such as tweezing.
Nail Specialist -- Provides services to enhance the appearance of the hands and feet by cleaning, cutting, shaping, or polishing the nails and by applying and removing sculptured or artificial nails.
Natural Hairstylist -- Braids, locks, extends and weaves hair.
Waxer -- Provides services to enhance the appearance of the face, neck, arms, legs or shoulders of a human being by removing hair using depilatories, waxes or tweezers.
An applicant must file an application for licensure with the New York State Department of State in order to become a licensed cosmetologist, natural hairstylist, esthetician, nail specialist or waxer. In addition, an applicant must be of good moral character. The latest information and requirements for licensure are available on the New York State Department of State website at:
Applicants must be at least 17 years of age.
Each of the following appearance enhancement occupations requires a different level of education:
- Cosmetologist (hairdresser) -- 1,000 hours
- Esthetician -- 600 hours
- Nail Specialist -- 250 hours
- Natural Hairstylist -- 300 hours
- Waxer -- 75 hours
Written -- 2 1/2 hours (multiple-choice format)
Practical -- Demonstrate practical abilities of specific license
Fees: (as of August 1, 2012)
- $40 -- Application
- $15 -- Each examination sitting
- $10 -- Temporary license
- $40 -- License renewal (every 4 years)
Licenses Issued and Active
From January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011, there were 86,942 licenses issued for this occupation.
As of June 29, 2012, there were 177,202 active licenses outstanding for this occupation.
New York State Department of State
Division of Licensing Services
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 22001
Albany, New York 12201-2001
Phone: (518) 474-4429
Fax: (518) 473-6648
Standard Occupational Classification
39-5012 - Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists
To learn more about this occupation search the Occupational Information Network (O*Net).
Fees stated and other information contained in this report are subject to change. Please contact the licensing authority listed above for the most current information.
This page was last updated on 8/6/12.
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