Cosmetology Law and Legal Definition

Cosmetology encompasses the practices generally and usually performed by, and known as the profession of beauty culturists, cosmeticians, cosmetologists, hairdressers, or any one or a combination of practices: arranging, dressing, curling, waxing, weaving, cleansing, cutting, singeing, bleaching, coloring, or similar work upon the hair of any person, by any means, and/or with hands or mechanical or electrical apparatus or appliances, or by the use of cosmetic preparations, antiseptics, tonics, lotions, creams or otherwise, massaging, cleansing, stimulating, exercising, beautifying, or similar work on the scalp, face, neck, arms, legs, feet, hands, bust, or upper part of the body, or manicuring the nails of any person or adding nail tips, extensions, gels, or other articles to nails, or performing desairology, the art and science of dressing and arranging the hair, nails, and clothing of the deceased.

State laws, which vary by state, regulate licensing of cosmetologists and the schools that certify them. The following is an example of a state statute regulating cosmetologists:

"COSMETOLOGIST. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no person may be licensed as a cosmetologist in any one or a combination of the practices of cosmetology unless he or she pays the original licensing fee, has an education equivalent to the completion of 10 grades in school, has passed the applicable examination to the satisfaction of the board, and has successfully completed either of the following:

  1. A complete course of cosmetology, consisting of all or a majority of the practices thereof, in a school of cosmetology, consisting of not less than 1,200 credit unit hours nor more than 1,700 actual clock hours of continuous training, not exceeding eight hours a day, or a course of study in a public school or trade school consisting of not less than 1,200 credit unit hours nor more than 1,700 actual clock hours of training.
  2. An apprenticeship in a cosmetology salon for not less than 3,000 hours of training over a maximum three year period, not exceeding eight hours a day."