License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing
License required in 51 states
17th most burdensome licensing requirements
4th most heavily regulated occupation
(Last updated April 24, 2012)
Cosmetologists and hairstylists provide beauty services, such as shampooing, cutting, coloring and styling hair and massaging and treating the scalp and may also apply makeup, dress wigs, perform hair removal and provide nail and skin care services.
Every state and the District of Columbia require a license to work as a cosmetologist. On average, these laws cost aspiring cosmetologists 372 days in education and $142 in fees and require them to take two exams -- the 17th most burdensome requirements of the 102 occupations studied, making for the fourth most widely and onerously licensed occupation. Days of education range from 490 in South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska to 233 in New York and Massachusetts. All states require at least one exam, and most require two or three. Fees range from zero in North Dakota to $325 in Nevada.