Consequences of Practicing Cosmetology Without A License

woman cutting hair
Cosmetology is the professional study and practical use of beauty treatments. Being a professional cosmetologist or practicing cosmetology for compensation requires, by law, a license. Failure to attain a license is met with legal consequences.

Can You Practice Cosmetology Without a License?

No. You cannot practice legally without a license. The state-certified license of a cosmetologist takes time to earn and practitioners of the craft may be eager to get started, but they cannot practice cosmetology without a license. By law, any services done within the field of cosmetology for any form of compensation is illegal if done without a completed education and a license. If it is a specialized field and they have the license for that field alone, they may do so, but are not qualified for anything else.

What Are The Consequences?

As cosmetology requires a license earned over the course of thousands of hours of training and practice, there are consequences involved with being caught without the proper license or if it has expired and has not been renewed. The consequences will differ state to state, fines and misdemeanor offenses may be on your state’s list of consequences.

The process of verifying if a practitioner has a license is relatively simple and, if exposed for practicing without a license, every state has consequences for the absence of a license. These generally involve a fine, but there are more dire consequences and the practitioner could face criminal charges should someone be harmed in the process.

How to Practice Cosmetology Legally

Attaining a Cosmetology License

To start practicing cosmetology, you are required to attain a license from an accredited university or state-licensed beauty school. The basic courses are often supplemented with minor training in esthetics as well as other specialized areas but the general education provides the most expansive job opportunities.

Graduation from these schools usually requires over a thousand hours of practice as well as an exam that spans written and practical portions, and there will be programs to further your education so that your certification remains valid. It is a lifelong practice.

Can I Move With a Cosmetology License?

Licenses are not universal and, as such, require that if the license-holder wishes to continue their practice after leaving the state they have qualified to operate in, they must transfer their license.

The process of transferring a license varies depending on the states and their requirements when it comes to education within the field of cosmetology. In some cases you are only required to submit an application and fee, while others require another exam or extra hours in training.

Conclusion

In the end, attaining a license to operate as a cosmetologist is a necessity. There are ample opportunities to attain a license and open up an entire spectrum of careers by doing so. There is no reason to risk consequences from practicing cosmetology without a license.

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Duane
Duane
2 years ago

So, can I work at a nail shop if I am not getting paid? I am doing it to learn the business.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Duane

It is illegal even if not paid.

Redliky
Redliky
1 month ago
Reply to  John

If my manager has an unlicensed employee working in her shop .can they go to jail for it.

K Joia
K Joia
1 year ago
Reply to  Duane

See if your state offers apprenticeships, here in Washington. It takes some investigating but is worth checking into. I know Washington, Colorado, California, and others offer the option. Most importantly if you work an approved salon you get paid while you learn
Good luck

Robin yates
Robin yates
1 year ago
Reply to  Duane

You must contact state licensing first. It’s called apprentice ship. The salon must be approved for this program. If it is, then you can train on the job. Depends on the state too.

Redliky
Redliky
1 month ago
Reply to  Robin yates

If the apprenticeship is not approved can that employee still work.

Lily
Lily
2 years ago

Would it be legal to practice hair braiding since it does not permanently or dramatically alter/effect their appearance (they can remove it and brush it out and it looks like nothing happened) without a license and what I mean is would it be legal charge money to do it on people

Marissa
Marissa
1 year ago
Reply to  Lily

It is still illegal, the law actually sees no difference in braiding ,coloring, cutting etc. Of course I’d check the exact law in whatever state you are in but most likely its illegal

ashley
ashley
1 year ago
Reply to  Lily

it is illegal to charge unless you go online a complete the natural haircare course of study packet go to the health licensing agency and take the natural hair care test and state laws test to get a certified authorization certificate to do so

Emily Flan
Emily Flan
1 year ago
Reply to  Lily

In my state, it is legal to braid hair and install wigs without a license

KH3
KH3
6 months ago
Reply to  Lily

Depends on each state – as of 2019 only 7 states still require a license for braiding. Check this article out AND also check under your states’ licensing and regulatory affairs for cosmetology.

knowledgecenter.csg.org/kc/content/should-licensing-reformers-still-be-talking-about-african-hair-braiding#:~:text=In%202019%20only%207%20states,reduced%20amount%20of%20training%20required.

Alana Martinez
Alana Martinez
4 months ago
Reply to  Lily

Hair braiding does not need a license. You can charge people as long as you never use or apply any chemical treatments.

Kiara Strayhorn
Kiara Strayhorn
2 years ago

Can I color hair extensions without a license ?

Ccc
Ccc
1 year ago

What a fu@$ing joke….

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Ccc

Not really!

Tori
Tori
1 year ago
Reply to  Ccc

People can genuinely get hurt if they are going to someone not trained in sanitation, what a reaction to color looks like, diseases, etc. It’s more about preventing diseases from being spread and keeping people from going to the hospital from burns and reactions.

K Joia
K Joia
1 year ago
Reply to  Tori

Not if the person has taken the time to actually learn ALL about nails. If you take it seriously you will have spent a tremendous amount of time learning everything about our craft. I’m not practicing, but I’m learning all I can about nails, sanitation, organizing, technique, ethics, and all the skills that would make me successful. Do your part to learn all you can about what you want to do. Better yet change the way we can learn and learn from reliable sources, get a proper education and read the text books that cover the basic skills. See what you can learn on your own to challenge our help you gain a spot.

victoria a cotillo
victoria a cotillo
8 months ago
Reply to  K Joia

you can learn the trade but if it is ilegal to practice it without a liscense. you can take a course check youtube videos etc . the only thing it makes you prepare to practice is get your liscense . people like to cut corners and call experts ..wrong

BDunbar
BDunbar
2 months ago
Reply to  K Joia

Lmao! You do know people get hurt even with a license. I always say licensing is a public agreement and will hold ppl accountable when upheld. You’re referring to these “self taught” ppl who THINK they have learned “all about nails” when in fact the miss the key concepts. You cannot watch YouTube and say you know enough to ensure that you are CARING for the nails properly, you’re not an expert, nor have you been deemed fit to perform services by those who are considered experts. Licensing departments are in place so that there is a minimum standard to keep all parties safe while services are exchanged. If you can’t agree to get licensed I don’t think you deserve to service others and put them at risk.I mean if you now so much, just get the dang license…

Last edited 2 months ago by BDunbar
Sylvia
Sylvia
1 year ago

What us the number to call and report someone

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Sylvia

Sylvia, each state has a regulatory agency that governs the industry. If you google Cosmetologist in X state, you’ll find the regulatory agency and that may be an appropriate starting point.

Cami Jones
Cami Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Sylvia

It varies from state to state, but it would be the cosmetology board in each state.

Klm
Klm
1 year ago

Bla bla I cut hair all the time been doing it for 30+ years. Do I have a license? Nooooo

Cami Jones
Cami Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Klm

You shouldn’t be.

Ksoaejd
Ksoaejd
1 year ago
Reply to  Klm

Mothers cut hair on their kids and husbands and aunties and cousins. What’s wrong with that?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Ksoaejd

There isn’t anything wrong with that 🙂

raphael cotillo
raphael cotillo
8 months ago
Reply to  Ksoaejd

you can do it in your home with your family members . we are talking about as a business

Iyanna
Iyanna
1 year ago

As an assistant could you wash out color without an license

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Iyanna

Iyanna, you’ll have to check the scope of practice at your state. In certain states, there is a shampoo license that is required (e.g. New Hampshire, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas) Other states may not have guidelines around it. Good luck!

Taz
Taz
1 year ago

If you want to change it, just need to start getting signatures and go to your state regulatory board as every year there’s a chance to vote against the licensure of each field.
Licensing is nothing else, but economist steps to set up oligarchys in every profession and keep the gap between rich and poor, make it even harder to ever get a chance in life if you weren’t born in a well off family. Besides the licensing proceeds of course benefiting state budgets that’s why they support it.
Ok, just so everybody is clear on the topic. Yes most of personal services, especially where you phisically touch your client (even just the hair) are licensed and more and more profession being licensed every year. Yes there are serious consequences for practicing without license.
But is it a joke? Absolutely. Is it really to protect consumers?? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Unless we talk about areas where people can really get hurt getting service from untrained person. Such professions, all types of physicians, surgeons, mental health practioners, lawyers, law enforcement, and certain engineers. Other than the above mentioned, professions being licensed because some priviliged, but skill-less people always lobbying for licensing for their own interest. Goverment ordered statistics showed that licensing did not decrease the number of accidents and injuries or report of customer dissatisfaction. The only thing licensing does is giving the authority (backed by law enforcement) into people’s hand who already have schooling to decide what are the requirements and whats right or wrong in that specific field. The problem these people actively practice, which means they just find ways to ride out the competition.

Sonia Villalobos
Sonia Villalobos
1 year ago
Reply to  Taz

🙌🙌🙌

Deb
Deb
1 year ago
Reply to  Taz

Taz, I believe that you are one of those who feel the “Man” is holding you back from being successful. Well let me tell you differently. There are many many people that are born into poor living situations that struggle to make ends meat but that struggle pays off and they become what they believe is successful. I yes sometimes your dreams don’t come true no matter how hard you work and study or whatever the situation is. But if you choose to blame everyone else for not becoming successful then you are the problem NOT the solution. Pick yourself up and keep trying. No one gets rewards for things being handed to them. No they have to work for them. And sometimes they don’t succeed but if they truly want it they keep trying. If you want to get out of the ghetto do something about it don’t keep blaming others for it. Their are grants galore that you don’t have to pay back to get an education or start a business. Do your due diligence. Keep looking for some way. There is always a way if you really want it.

MissyG
MissyG
1 year ago
Reply to  Taz

You’ve never been to Cosmo school have you? You would unmistakably see and understand what an education and required licensing protects if you had.

As for it supposedly not being accessible to those with no pot to pee in… I’m calling your bluff – I was struggling to keep a roof over my head and food on the table (with a toddler and a baby), and received a Pell Grant from the state of CA that paid fully for my education. This CAN happen for the less fortunate.

BDunbar
BDunbar
2 months ago
Reply to  MissyG

OMG! I LOVE YOU! THIS IS WHAT I TRY TO TELL PPL ALLLLLL THE TIME! You can’t say a license is necessary if you have never gone to get one…

Sheila
Sheila
11 months ago
Reply to  Taz

Also look at having a license as accountability. Some unlicensed people do the same work and charge the same price. That is unfair to people who actually went to school and earned their license. When they mess up it’s nothing you can do. You would be just as liable for going to a person without a license. Would you go to a doctor without a license or certification?

BDunbar
BDunbar
2 months ago
Reply to  Taz

Lmao! no. Licensing is protection for both parties. Its become a money hungry game because ppl are not educated on either side and ppl just jump in for the money. Nail technicians are NAIL CARE professionals. Everyone seems to forget that. They are an extension of the medical field! If you wouldnt let just anyone slice you open for surgery why is it any different when it comes to messing with your nails?! Like no one cares about a license until something serious happens and they want someone to blame. I don’t understand how ppl will follow some rules so hard then just not care about others. Its comical at this point. If you want to make a difference then DO SOMETHING! You don’t seem to be doing anything to fix the issue but you will scream from the rooftops about how licensing is…opressive?! There is no privilege behind getting a license lmaooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo You either figure it out or you don’t. You either want to be seen as a legit, licensed entity, or you don’t. Too many excused for ppl not to have a license an y’all don’t seem to understand what it is meant to do. Like read some books. Girl bye! *insert eyeroll*

L. Ave
L. Ave
1 year ago

I had a girl working for me who provided me with fraudulent licenses. I fired her and reported her to DOL and they did nothing. So badically there aren’t many ramifications other than being fired aside from the fact that I was paying her on a licensed scale AND she put me in a HUGE liability position.

BDunbar
BDunbar
2 months ago
Reply to  L. Ave

So the issue is no pressure on the necks of those in those positions. If ppl stepped up then things would change. Thats why I have no clue how ppl get licensed and say their school was no good lie its nothing. If school taught you nothing, why wouldnt you say something or stand up for that to change. Its super weird to me. I hope to start getting active with the licensing board and nail community because that’s how this will evolve. Id love to open a legit school that really puts out quality techs but its an uphill battle sometimes…

Kat
Kat
1 year ago

I’m a licensed nail tech and have a salon at my home separate from living quarters. I’m wanting to host a ladies night on proper care and ending the night with teaching my technique to paint nails so the ladies would bring a friend and they would paint each other’s nails. Curious if I’m allowed to do this or not or how that works. I would charge a very little fee to cover cost of their nail file and buffers

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Kat

Kat, that is a great question. What state are you currently in? The regulations vary state by state.

Desirae Dempsey
Desirae Dempsey
11 months ago

Can I do nails at my home if I am not taking payments?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
11 months ago

Desirae, if you are referring to Washington State, the state laws and state rules are focused on consumer protection, where goods and services are exchanged. The best way to clarify what is required would be to reach out to the Department of Licensing. You can contact them via their website at dol.wa.gov under the Cosmetology category. Good luck!

Kkn
Kkn
1 year ago
Reply to  Kat

Can I run a home base salon in my garage if it’s in it’s own legit cubical
Blocking the rest of the garage off and making just that room?

Olivia
Olivia
1 year ago

If I do my own nails does it count?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Olivia

No it does not. Self service wouldn’t pertain to the regulatory agency

Jay
Jay
1 year ago

Could a teen do polygel nails at school without a license?

Barbara
Barbara
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay

Hello my name is Barbara I studied cosmetology black in 2003 here in Atlanta GA, I took the state board test, and passed the practical part and failed the written part. With life’s situations I ended up in a different field if work. I wanted to know if I can still take the written test at this point.
Thanks,

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Barbara

That is a great question Barbara! Unfortunately, I am not as familiar with how the regulatory agency works in GA, however did find their website. Good luck! Website: sos.ga.gov/index.php/licensing/plb/16 Please let us know how things turn out!

Tierra L Loftus
Tierra L Loftus
1 year ago

I have a developmentally disabled female living with me. She likes me to do her hair. I don’t charge her, Is that illegal, or do they not count people who have a secondary relationship with the person?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago

Hello Tierra, it depends on the state, however regulations typically apply to commercial transactions.

Tay
Tay
1 year ago

Hello! I have a client who wants me to teach her how to cut her husbands hair. Would I be breaking any law? I would be worried if she tried to take hair cutting to other people.

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Tay

If she is teaching you for fun, then most likely no. However, if she is charging you, there maybe a challenge. I would suggest you reach out to the regulatory agency in your state.

Juanita
Juanita
1 year ago

I have a doctorate degree in physical therapy. I am contemplating enrolling in a course for laser lipo used for body contouring that is being offered by a licensed esthetician in hopes of being able to provide the service myself. Do I have to become a licensed cosmetologist or esthetician to provide this service although I have a more extensive degree? I really do not want to go back to school lol.

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Juanita

Juanita, the first thing you would do is to look at your approved scope of work with your degree in PT. If it allows for operating laser or medical devices, you may not have to go back to school. However, I am not as familiar with the scope of practice for you educational qualification.

Juanita
Juanita
1 year ago

I have a doctorate degree in physical therapy. I will be taking a course on laser lipo for body contouring offered by an esthetician for certification to be able to provide this services myself. Do I have to become a licensed esthetician to provide this service even though I have a higher education in health science?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Juanita

Juanita, the first thing you would do is to look at your approved scope of work with your degree in PT. If it allows for operating laser or medical devices, you may not have to go back to school. However, I am not as familiar with the scope of practice for you educational qualification.

Cori’el
Cori’el
1 year ago

Is doing nails as a small business, as a teen without a license illegal

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Cori’el

Cori’el, thank you for your question. If you are doing it as a commercial service (taking payments), then yes, it would not be in accordance to the legal requirements.

Kkn
Kkn
1 year ago

Even if u say u don’t charge or take payment and they tip u outta there own good self, is it illegal?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Kkn

That is a good question. ‘Tipping’ is typically considered compensation. Even if they ‘traded’ you something for the service would be considered compensation.

Diana
Diana
1 year ago

I live in California ., can I do nails from home ? If I have my license??

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Diana

Diana, that is a great question. If you have your license, you are able to offer commercial services. However,I am not familiar with the specific licensing designation. You may want to check out you Cosmetology Board for guidance. Here is the link: barbercosmo.ca.gov/

Amy
Amy
1 year ago

Hi, I’m a high school student and I plan on going to an esthetician school when I graduate. I hope to one day open a small business providing esthetic services, but I’d also like to expand to some cosmetic services. I feel that cosmetology and esthetics go together and would make a fine business. If i wanted to do that, would I also have to go to cosmetology school as well and get my license even if I, myself, WON’T be the one giving the cosmetic services, but instead hire employees with cosmetology license to do them. Would that be allowed? Someone let me know, please and thanks!.

Also, if it helps, I live in Virginia, but I hope on opening this business in Texas.

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy

Amy, in Washington State you are not required to have an operators license to own a spa. However, I am unsure of the requirements in Virginia or Texas. I do know that most salon/spa owners are owner/operators, hence being licensed. It may be worth serious consideration, as you can better lead your team as a licensed professional, as you can jump in to lead, and cover if needed.

Sanille
Sanille
1 year ago

At the end of summer, our church provides free haircuts to kids heading back to school. We are always short of stylists and we have never used the many retired stylists em who are available. This is because they do not hold a current license. There is no form of compensation to the stylist whatsoever, so could we use these ladies to give free haircuts?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Sanille

We do a number of different events to help those that are in need. Just reach out the nearest campus and they can definitely help.

Flavia
Flavia
1 year ago

My youngest brother’s girlfriend is an unlicensed, “self taught” nail tech. I believe she misguided my parents into letting her accept clients in their home that has no qualifications for a salon. This is also during the Covid-19 pandemic and my parents are in their late 50s-60 and my mother is diabetic with the addition of a slew of other health issues. I am worried that the clients she brings in will also at some point bring in the virus. Additionally, I do not believe she has had any professional training and is unfit to be a nail technician. I am unsure of any laws or who I would go through to approach the situation. Any advice would be very helpful. Thank you I’m advance.

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Flavia

Flavia, it sounds as though this is a complex situation. Providing services to the public without a licensed creates a lot exposure on a number of levels. It may be best to have a conversation regarding the regulations, and direct her, or your parents to the Department of Licensing, Cosmetology Division.

Bob
Bob
1 year ago

ONLY illegal if ANY form of compensation is given. Volunteering one’s time for free would not violate any laws

Kristal Aguirre
Kristal Aguirre
1 year ago

Thank you

Ariana
Ariana
1 year ago

If I am a self taught nail tech, can I do house calls legally if there is no compensation?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Ariana

Ariana, if you take any compensation, even trading, you are subject to having a license. This license allows you to have insurance if something goes wrong. Many people think they can be clever and go under the radar by getting around this, but I have seem too many formal complaints, and lawsuits, when someone gets injured, no matter how minor it is. They will sue you and practicing without a license will leave you pretty much defenseless.

DiBabe
DiBabe
1 year ago

I am an in-home caregiver. Because the salons are closed now, the guardian of one of my clients wants me to cut my client’s hair. I wouldn’t be getting paid for the haircut itself, but I am paid to be caring for her. Would cutting her hair be legal?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  DiBabe

Hello DiBabe, thank you for your question. The laws governing cosmetology is to protect consumers. You question is a little tricky as you may not be paid specifically for the the hair cut, but it could be interpreted that you paid for your services as in-home caregiver to your client, and grooming is part of that expectation. The question you are asking is a good step; if the guardian claims that you injured your client by doing unlicensed activity, there could be challenges. I would suggest you reach out the Department of Licensing to get clarification. Their website is dol.wa.gov People may think this is overboard, but I have seen many do ‘friends’ and claim that they did not receive compensation, only to have been accused of injuring them and asking for to cover fees.

Sheldon meyer
Sheldon meyer
1 year ago

Do you have to be licensed to style hair as a backstage personal for a theatrical tour?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Sheldon meyer

Sheldon, that’s a good question. If you are in Washington State and am doing it for commercial services, then it would fall under a licensed service.

Danelle
Danelle
1 year ago

Can a cosmetologist shave a beard without a barber license? It was a shaver not a razor. Also does anyone know if beards are even allowed to be shaved in Colorado right now because of the covid regulations? A lady just shaved my husband’s beard off yesterday! Without asking! Thanks!

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Danelle

Danelle, I’m not sure what the rules are in Colorado, but in Washington it is well within the scope of practice 🙂

Scott
Scott
1 year ago

What if your Governor is a dictator and has no moral compass for his constituents welfare over an exaggerated pandemic that hes trying to use to get federal aid he doesnt deserve (and was denied the aid) because he bankrupted the state years ago.. How about under those circumstances?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott

Scott, the civil disobedience argument is a little bit a of different position than this blog post 🙂

Kelly marcelino
Kelly marcelino
1 year ago

Can you challenge state board license if your exoired

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago

Kelly, that is a great question and it really varies from state to state. It’s best to reach out to your state regulatory agency. If you are in Washington State, the website is dol.wa.gov and click on Cosmetology. Good luck!

ash
ash
1 year ago

I’m practicing nails on myself currently, my friends want me to practice on them… I will be taking cosmetology next year in high school. Is it illegal to practice on myself and friends?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  ash

Ash, that is a great question. Licenses are required if you are offering services for commercial purposes, so if you are not taking payment, your exposure maybe limited. The best thing to do is to contact the Department of Licensing here in Washington State: dol.wa.gov/business/cosmetology/contact.html

Geo
Geo
1 year ago

So it’s illegal to work in a nail salon without taking compensation in Colorado?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Geo

Hello Geo, thank you for your comment/question. However, I wasn’t sure if it was more of a comment or a question. If it is a question, I am not as familiar with Colorado laws, however I would imagine if you are working without compensation, it would be considered volunteering?

Catherine Keefer
Catherine Keefer
1 year ago

There is this girl changing 20$ for nails and she hasn’t went to school and I refuse to continue to see her rip ppl off

Virginia R Hendrickson
Virginia R Hendrickson
1 year ago

I held a license in California and Hawaii. I was licensed cosmetology instructor in state of Washington from 1967 through 1997. I was so owner of Auburn Beauty School, and glorious Beauty School in Bellevue Washington. Bellevue beauty school was the first school in Washington State to be licensed to teach add license and esthetician program, Auburn was the second. I was a licensed cosmetology esthetician, Barber, and manicures licensed instructor, and school owner until 1985. I owned and operated Ginger Spice appearance Center in Federal Way and Wenatchee Washington. In 2000 I became an art teacher fo Wenatchee public school system until retiring. I would now like to perform haircuts only at the senior center in Wenatchee Washington. Not having a license for over 15 years what is the procedure for obtaining a hair cutting license only. At 78 years old, is there a grandfathering program at all? Hall, Weigel, and Hendrickson are last names of mine during that time and present

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago

Virginia, first thank you for your incredible contribution to our industry! It’s amazing to read your journey, and having been part of the industry for the past 15 years, we owe a great deal to leaders like you that you have laid the foundation of what we have today. RE: grandfathering, it’s best to reach out directly with the Department of Licensing, Cosmetology Division. I am not sure if they will just require you to re-take both the written and practical exam, or if there are other requirements that you must meet. Here is their website: dol.wa.gov/business/cosmetology/contact.html. Or if calling works better, their Customer Service Line is 360.664.6626

Jereisha Chapman
Jereisha Chapman
1 year ago

Hello, so I’ve been wanting to get into the business of making press on nails meaning I won’t be providing any face to face service just painting and designing a nail to sell what documents would I need for this?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago

Jereisha, I don’t believe this would require a professional license, although it may help. I am sorry I can’t provide any more specifics.

Kai
Kai
1 year ago

Would you need a vendor or small business license for it?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Kai

Kai, your operator license is different than the business license. If you open up your own salon and you are an operator, you would need both.

Jillian martin
Jillian martin
1 year ago

A friend of mine told me she was a licensed cosmetologist after the First time of her doing my hair she told me the truth but then she told me she went to take a test which was a lie because now I let her do my hair and she completely damaged it

Michaela Browder
Michaela Browder
1 year ago

Can you work from home to be a nail artist and do it online classes from home ? or what

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago

Michaela, it depends on what state you are located in and if that state permits online education. Some states will permit it, and then you will need to find a school that can offer it. In regards to operating from home as a nail artist, many do. You just have to make sure you have the required credentials. Good luck!

Taylor Embry
Taylor Embry
1 year ago

Who do you call when someone is operating with no license

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Taylor Embry

Taylor, you would actually contact the Department of Licensing Cosmetology Division.

Lisa Ramirez
Lisa Ramirez
1 year ago

I worked for a person who doesn’t have a barber’s license Nora Barber Shop permit and have barbers working without license I was the only one who had a legit barbers license is there anyway I can report them

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Lisa Ramirez

Lisa, what state are you in?

Charlotte
Charlotte
1 year ago

If I were to treat a minor without any qualifications or evidence, what would the consequences be?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Charlotte

Charlotte, that’s a great question. When you say, ‘treat a minor’ what do you mean? What do you perceive as differences between treating a minor versus an adult?

Charlotte Yarnall
Charlotte Yarnall
1 year ago

Either treating a minor or adult without any qualifications or evidence what would be the consequences? If there is a difference in consequence what would it be?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago

Charlotte, if you are doing for commercial purposes, then regardless of age, both would be considered unlicensed activity. I am not sure what the difference in risk exposure, but would hypothesize that minors would be considered more vulnerable if there was an injury. Again, I am not well versed in this area of regulations but that would be my guess.

Charlotte Yarnall
Charlotte Yarnall
1 year ago

Okay thank you for helping!

Kenzie
Kenzie
1 year ago

I am doing nails home from I am 18 and have just started no I don’t have a license as of now , eventually I’ll be going to school. I wanted to start charging my girlfriends for nails most of them offer money to me! Basically what I’m asking is it okay to take money from my friends for doing there nails. I mean I do pay for all my product!

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Kenzie

Hello Kenzie, first I want to congratulate you; to ‘self teach’ speaks to your curiosity and passion, and your desire to go to school to formalize the training is commendable. I am unsure what state you are in, but typically receiving money for the service, even if it is just for product, is considered a commercial transaction. It would therefore require a license. I would encourage you to research your state regulations, and to start your schooling sooner than later. It seems like you are ready to start your journey in the industry. There are also some great scholarships out there to help as well. Check out beautychangeslives.org/ as they sometimes of nail scholarships.

Tulip
Tulip
1 year ago

My cousin works at a hair salon under a supposed apprenticeship, and had been for two years, but hasn’t taken any schooling and is “waiting to take her exam”. Is this legal?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Tulip

Tulip, it really depends on the state. Although apprenticeships are not as common as going to a technical school, it is a valid, and for some individuals, a successful way to train for the industry. I would suggest that you look at your state regulations. One simple way of doing it is just to google “Cosmetology Apprenticeship Requirements in X state” … they should direct you to some resources. Good luck!

ROBIN YATES
ROBIN YATES
1 year ago

Can you work in a salon, IF…… You’ve completed cosmetology school, primary exam but still waiting on state boards? I have a student I want to hire but she is waiting on state boards, due to Covid. What can she legally do?

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  ROBIN YATES

Robin, it depends on the state. Due to COVID some states are issuing temp approvals for not only the beauty industry, but others, like dentistry. However, if you are in Washington State, there is not that option.

Ben wehrle
Ben wehrle
1 year ago

Can you run a nail salon in a apartment complex without telling the management

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben wehrle

Ben, there are a number of regulations you want to explore including zoning, rental agreement at your apartment complex, etc.

Vanessa
Vanessa
1 year ago

how do I report a person who does not have a license and works inside the apartment with body and facial aesthetics?

Kaitlin
Kaitlin
11 months ago

I want to offer haircuts and coloring FOR FREE without a license. Is that legal? It’s just something I want to do for experience and fun. I do not plan on charging at all.

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
11 months ago
Reply to  Kaitlin

You need to check with your state regulators; they will be able to give you greater guidance on your specific state. In some states, even accepting a tip, via money, or even a gift, could be considered compensation.

Terri
Terri
11 months ago

I know someone who is practicing on a fake license listing a school that is now closed as the school they attended. How should I proceed to report them. They are practicing in New Mexico. Thanks

DeeDee
DeeDee
10 months ago

My 13 year old daughter and I were offered complementary services in a luxury department store. During the services a contract employee used an LED light therapy device for anti-aging sagging skin and wrinkles as well as an oxygen spray device on us. Since it was my daughter’s first facial experience I took photos as the facial progressed. And I have no idea how important those photos would end up being. The lady called me back and offered me another complementary facial again two months later. I went back to the department store and she did the same thing with the LED light therapy and the oxygen spray device. I ended up at the urgent care center with contact dermatitis. The swelling was so severe I was unrecognizable. I was in excruciating pain with the redness blisters and oozing pustules.
This happened over one year ago. I’ve been seeking treatment at my terminologist office and have had major headaches and I twitching.
The department store is telling me they did nothing wrong. I am very upset that I allowed my daughter in the hands of someone that could be so reckless. I had no idea the devices she brought in were not property of the department store and I had no idea she did not work directly for the department store. I asked the department store about this and asked if she had a license with the board of barbering and cosmetology in California. Their response was that they think she is license but it didn’t matter anyway since it was a complementary facial and no money was exchanged. Apparently anyone can perform services if it’s complementary and apparently they can bring in whatever devices they want.
I feel like an idiot for trusting someone in a luxury department store and can’t believe I did not ask more questions about the service. I repeatedly asked the department store to tell me the exact name of the devices. They recently told me I can look it up on Amazon it’s a skin rejuvenation device and the other device they still don’t know it didn’t bother to tell me. In my photos I can see the devices so I’ve been doing a lot of research on the Internet and it turns out that it appears both of these devices that were used on my daughter and I were not FDA approved or FDA cleared. They are both for anti-aging and skin wrinkles which clearly a 13-year-old wouldn’t have an issue with. I found the person on LinkedIn and she has two accounts one says that she’s a cosmetologist for 15 years and states that she went to a beauty college several years ago and then her second account doesn’t say anything about being a cosmetologist.
I reached out to the cosmetology board multiple times and it appears if she is not license there’s nothing they can do.
This is A nightmare and I hope that people will learn from my mistakes and ask questions so they don’t end up like me. I don’t know how in California this could possibly be legal in the department store can get away with it. I am have also reached out to several companies that carry similar devices and each of them have stated that these type of devices should not be used on a child. The manufacture of the LED light therapy device told me that the device would be too heavy to place on a child’s face. I am very thankful nothing happened to my daughter I just can’t believe that people at this way when you are putting your trust in them and think they are experienced and they are actually very reckless and putting people in danger.
I’m just extremely grateful that it was me who was injured and not my sweet daughter. Live and learn. Do you have any suggestions on how I can get such policies change so that people are more held accountable. Obviously if there are so many loopholes people get hurt and the department store takes advantage of innocent customers.

tracy
tracy
10 months ago

im a 13 year old girl and im really good at doing peoples nails but because of this pandemic i cant do my friends nails anymore and i was looking at amazon and i found a lot of good nails supplies and i was thinking i could do family and friends nails but i was doing some reading and i was looking into this and i was wondering if i need a liscense to do family and friends nails at home

Stephanie
Stephanie
9 months ago

I started an apprenticeship program in 2019, I was studying under a licensed cosmetologist at a salon. It was a completely unpaid apprenticeship. I did not receive any compensation for any of my time. My compensation was supposed to be obtaining my license. I worked for this cosmetologist for just shy of 8 months. I kept a basic log myself of the days I worked and hours etc. Basically my schedule was Mon-fri 9:30am-5:30pm and then Saturday from 9am-4pm. Obviously some days varied and I would be there longer/shorter depending on the cosmetologist’s “client schedule”. I also had the standard book/workbook and would only have time to work on those things at home. I did not count the hours spent taking tests and or workbook hours, I only kept track of the hours in the salon. While at the salon there was no time allowed for bookwork etc. After 3-4 months ( I was well over my 200 hours needed) I should have been able to be “on the floor”. The salon did not offer “walk-in’s” which meant if I wanted to practice and or be on the floor, I would have to schedule these practices during salon hours. But the stylist would only allow me to make appointments to be on the floor after her clients were completed for the day, which meant later in the evening. Most days she double booked her clients and kept her schedule extremely busy. The stylist had just purchased the salon from the previous owner about 2 months after I started the apprenticeship and she gave me a key to the salon because after her day was finished and her last client left, she left also. Leaving me in the salon ALONE to finally practice or be on the floor. There were many times when I’d be there until late into the evening. As a student I was still learning and wasn’t “quick” so it would obviously take me some time to complete some of the processes. Especially when it was a color process. These would include hair cuts sometimes, but most of the time this was a “color”process. Then I was required to lock the salon up and she would ask me to send her the “before and after pictures” of each of these “practice clients”. I still had not received my apprenticeship certificate or any paperwork but I trusted that the stylist said “it was coming and it may take time”. Honestly, I clearly trusted more than I should I have from what I believed was a professional. At first everything went fairly smoothly and I was just washing and drying/styling the clients. Then after the stylist realized I had a “talent” and could do a lot of things on my own, the stylist took full advantage of this and I was basically doing her clients hair while the stylist did “other” things around the salon. Shortly after she bought the salon, the stylist started talking to me about charging clients. At first I was excited at the thought of finally being “on the floor”. But the stylist was pushing for me to decide “booth rent or commission”. She wanted me to pay $100 a week booth rent and or 50% commission. And charge people prices, as if I were a licensed cosmetologist. I was nervous about it. So I continued only charging for the cost of product’s and at that point the only $ I was making were tip’s if they chose to leave one. I was required to pay for and purchase ALL of my own products and she even expected me to use my own products on her clients as well. Even though she was not paying me and the $ to pay for these products was coming from my other job. The stylist started becoming frustrated with me because I was not charging “clients”. And or was not ready to pay a booth rent or commission. Even though she wanted to make $ off of me, that was crystal clear, she still expected me to first take care of her clients for the day and then schedule clients only when she did not need me. So I still was unable to be on the floor at a normal business time and was expected to “start” my schedule at 5pm. I was being 100% used! And to be frank I was busting my ass for this stylist! FOR FREE! Because I did not have my apprenticeship certificate STILL, She would either accompany me to the salon products store or she would send me to the store to pick up these items that she had “called in” for me and I would purchase all the things I need etc. She filled out paperwork at these salon products store’s naming me her “apprentice”, so that’s the only way I was able to purchase anything. I did keep all of my receipts for my records. After about 6 months I began getting frustrated that I had not received my certificate or any information. She continued to reassure me that the “state takes forever sending stuff like that out” and I believed her. She was pushing increasingly hard for me to pay booth rent and or commission and when I continued only charging for the products used, again which I paid for, her frustration was easily noticed. At one point she even reached out to my fiancé and asked about booth rent or commission! She continued to allow me to use her salon only after her day was done and she had left. And my days were becoming insanely long at that point. I’ve always had a natural “talent” and a true passion for this field and this stylist saw that and took full advantage. And I was so excited and “grateful” for the opportunity, I can only explain my stupidity as willful ignorance! For the most part I kept my mouth shut and did what I was told! However, I was beginning to feel very used and was extremely disappointed with a lot of the things that were happening. I was still working my other job obviously, as this was completely unpaid and at that point it was costing me $ to do the apprenticeship. I had a set schedule at my other job but the apprenticeship came first. During the week Wednesday-Saturday I would go to the salon at 9:30am-5:30pm and then I would drive straight to my other job to be there by 6pm and work until 1:30-2am. Monday & Tuesday I did not work my other job so on those days the hours were longer at the salon. The stylist I was studying under was a blonde specialist/color specialist and that was ALL she did! This stylist does not have a love/passion for this field! This meant she only used her time doing things she could charge “what she was worth”. And in our area, this stylist is well known and it’s also known that if she does your hair it’s going to cost a lot! Many people/clients have made comments related to this stylist, and that she “charges too much” or “her prices are not worth it” etc. And I will admit, within the area we live her prices are not anything close to average they are EXTREME. And her attitude about it is also just as EXTREME! Maybe this is why I believed and or trusted her as much as I did, with her being well known. Still, even though she felt “entitled” to charge outrageous prices, she did not know how to do “up-do’s” whatsoever, her focus was $ and those were the only services she offered. She rarely did a simple haircut etc. So many times I would try to learn from the other stylist’s in the salon. The previous owner still worked in the salon and she showed me several different techniques and would try to pull me away from the other stylist to learn new things. But the stylist I studied under kept me busy with her clients and or doing everything related to the clean up after her clients etc. As I explained I’ve always had a passion and or talent for this field and I’ve always been able to do special occasion hair styles etc. Even prior to the apprenticeship I had already assisted with many wedding parties. I had studied under her for 8 months and usually when she asked me to assist with a wedding party, the stylist would allow me to keep the fee and tip for the special occasion style. We hadn’t done many wedding parties but that was always the expectation. At this point she was undeniably “pissed” that she was not making extra $$ off of me, and the stylist said she wanted to “ do things by the book”, so she wasn’t going to charge me booth rent or commission and we would continue doing what I had been as far as practice clients only paying for products and if they chose to tip. This was a relief at first, then she explained that she was going to start charging a “fee”. So the stylist wanted me to pay for and provide all my own products and equally find my own practice clients/ participant’s, which I had already been doing, and basically the stylist was going to charge my “clients” for not only the products and if they chose to tip but the fee would be a price point she felt was accurate for a studying stylist. And the “salon” which she owned would keep that “fee”. And I would get my products cost and or the tip. Still I felt relieved because I was under so much pressure to pay high booth rent when I wasn’t even allowed to “book clients” until after 4-5pm. This specific Friday the stylist asked me if I would “assist” in a wedding party and asked me if I was willing to be at the salon at 8am the next day. (Saturday) I asked her if she was still allowing me to keep the fee’s from special occasion styles and she said no you will only get the tip if they choose to give you one. I can admit that at this point, I was truly frustrated and we had a “serious” discussion about these issues with her trying to make money off of me, but she explained that the “fee” she would be charging “practice clients” would be the prices listed at the schools for studying cosmetologist related to whichever service etc. And she said I would be allowed to let people know that I only receive the tip and the fee is the “salons”. Because I was not comfortable with asking my clients for additional “fees” and I wanted them to know I was NOT CHARGING them! The wedding party was not “studying” for me! The bottom line was the stylist couldn’t do it and had a large wedding party booked and she NEEDED my help to finish these clients on time. So as usual I agreed to help. I worked that Friday nite after I left the salon as always and it was a very late nite for me. I also have 3 children. And I was spending so much time working and doing the apprenticeship I barely saw them! The stylist and I had a “friendship” or so I thought because we often spent time out of the salon together. And my family had even helped her with watching her children on a regular basis. So after my late nite at work getting home at 3am and needing to be to the salon by 8am, exhausted doesn’t describe how I felt during those several months! I got to the salon and I had found a list of pricing for students in our area and I gave it to her prior to the wedding parties arrival. The stylist told me that she was charging “full price” for the styles because these clients were already “pre-booked” and it wouldn’t be fair for some of them to pay less then others. I ended up doing 3 special occasion styles for her clients. While I was working on the up-do’s the stylist was sitting in her own chair and or walking around, drinking mimosas, that she had brought in for the wedding party. She charged each person a $60 “fee” for the up-do’s. She did not reimburse me for the products I had used or anything. The stylist charged people full price. And those “fee’s” were for the “salon”. After the wedding party had left, the stylist had one more appointment, an “all over color”. Since she no longer needed my assistance and it being nearly 3pm and honestly being absolutely livid about the continued manipulation related to her using me, I asked the stylist if I could possibly leave after “we” applied the color to her client, because my oldest daughter was waiting for me, we had plans. Even though inside I was livid I never lashed out or did anything to this woman! She wanted me to stay and do her clients hair, while she did ??? who knows what? Drink more mimosas I guess! By then she hadn’t had to bother with much! She would apply the bleach or possibly the color, but if she felt I could do something I did it while she was else where. And that went on for months! Which meant for the past several months she had been allowing me to do the majority of the work on her clients while she collected her outrageous prices. She did not come right out and say that she wanted me to do her clients hair that Saturday and she certainly did not need help nor was it necessary for me to be there in order for her to wash and or dry her clients hair! The color had already been applied and I was not in need of knowing how to wash/dry or style as I had done that for every single one of her clients since I started the apprenticeship. But I could tell she was “expecting” it. The stylist hesitatingly allowed me to leave but there was an obvious attitude directed towards me. When I left the salon that Saturday afternoon I did not expect to find out what I did! The salon products store was offering a “color class” which all of us at the salon were supposed to attend that coming Monday. Unfortunately I did not make it to that additionally offered class! After 8 months and still not receiving my certificate, I contacted LARA( state licensing), I had worked for absolutely FREE for 1,500+ hours (salon hours only) not including the time spent at home doing tests and book work. 8 months of busting my ass and doing this stylist’s job and then some! Only to find out that the stylist had never turned in my application for my apprenticeship! She had not logged 1 single hour with the state, after 8 months! My tests were not turned in NOTHING! LARA had absolutely NO knowledge of my apprenticeship whatsoever! I contacted the stylist and she tried to sell me some garbage about how LARA was mistaken and she was going to contact LARA herself and have all my paperwork(my logged hours and my mysterious apprentice certificate) “sent to me in the mail”. Obviously I did not receive anything. The apprenticeship was supposed to be 2000 hours/2 years. And I was so close to those hours and so close to what I considered a life long dream! I’ve always wanted to be a cosmetologist! I worked so hard to achieve this goal! I won’t say that I didn’t learn anything from the cosmetologist I studied under, I learned a lot from her and the other ladies in the salon, I had obviously spent a great deal of time and effort for this apprenticeship. But all of that hard work and knowledge does nil, when I never received a “piece of paper” acknowledging my sacrifices! I’m 36 years old, I won’t say that I come from poverty level but I didn’t always have the opportunity or luxury of going to school. This wasn’t anyone’s fault specifically, but I had to work and get PAID! I had to be employed and be earning an actual income. When this stylist was looking for an “assistant”, I saw what I thought was an opportunity! I reached out to her and asked if she would be willing to do an apprenticeship rather then me being her “assistant”, although I was willing to be a paid assistant as well. When she contacted me back she told me she was willing to do the apprenticeship and it was unpaid etc. I met with the stylist, filled out the apprenticeship application, everything I was supposed to do or that she asked of me I did! She often “claimed” to have sent in my monthly hour log as well because I no doubt asked! My fiancé and this stylist went to high school together and knew each other, so I really did trust the things she was saying and doing for such a long time! I’m not an ignorant person! I trusted this “professional stylist” and she conned me! She stole well over 1000 hours of my life for NOTHING! I did not get paid hourly I did not receive any compensation WHATSOEVER! I filed a complaint through the state (LARA) and they have done absolutely nothing! It’s been almost a year now waiting for the state to “investigate”. Is this not a CRIME?! How can she be allowed to continue on with her life after she did something like this? Then adding insult to injury, recently I received a copy of text messages (there validity is questionable) still I believe they are from this stylist, she told someone that the reason the “apprenticeship didn’t work out was because “I” wanted to charge people and that’s illegal and I was always late.” Even if that were true, which it is not, there is not an acceptable excuse to string someone along working them beyond full time hours, 6 days a week, for 8 months, without any pay! Allowing someone to believe that the light at the end of the tunnel is they will be a “licensed cosmetologist!” I saved every text message, every receipt, she posted my work on the salons website announcing me as her apprentice, and there is a never ending line of credible witnesses to these crimes! Why is this issue not being taken more seriously? This should be considered a severe offense and she should no longer be allowed to hold a license or the title of a cosmetologist! Regardless of her recent “excuses” she had an obligation to log my hours! And if she had done that, I would’ve been able to simply contact LARA and find another salon that would allow me to finish my apprenticeship. Which I had already done when I attempted to contact them! If this was a “trial” apprenticeship position and after only a few days or even a couple weeks, she had said “it didn’t or wasn’t going to work out” and she hadn’t logged any hours MAYBE …. MAYBE I would be understanding. But not after 8 months! Not after 1500+ hours of my time unpaid! It seems unbelievable to me that I’m not legally allowed to do hair because this stylist failed to even notify the state of my apprenticeship and that if I did I could face consequences! So while my life sits on hold because of this “stylist’s” actions and while I hope and pray for a positive resolution, the stylist has continued on happily with her career as if nothing ever happened! No big deal right? I honestly don’t know what to even do at this point or what more legally I can do?!?!?!? But I can not allow this to just be ignored! I simply can NOT! To say this has been devastating and detrimental to me is an understatement! Please if there is any additional information or expertise advice, I truly need the help! I’ve continued to act in a professional manner regarding what happened. There has not been any childishness or “smear campaigns” against this stylist. But if I’m being honest at this point I’m ready to start making it very public! Including naming her and the salon in which she owns etc! Again I appreciate any help!

Tisa
Tisa
9 months ago

If my license was taken from the board in 2006 due to my drug addiction and the fact that I was working on clients while under the influence can I now get it back

Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
Admin
Frank - Beauty College Ambassador
8 months ago
Reply to  Tisa

Tisa, the best thing to do is reach out to your state regulatory agency. Which state do you reside in? I can help find the link.