Industry • Best Practice
Eyelash Extension State Requirements: What You Need to Know for Your Business
May.23,2023By Boulevard Staff
Opening an eyelash extension business means receiving the proper licenses, buying the right insurance, and obeying safety regulations
Many beauty businesses stand at the intersection of safety and luxury, and while that appeals to a huge number of clients, it also incurs an extra layer of scrutiny from regulators. Across the United States, eyelash extension business owners need to ensure that their salon remains on the right side of those regulations with proper licensing, insurance, sanitation, and labor practices. It’s a lot to keep track of, especially since individual states often apply their own rules to these businesses. If you plan to open an eyelash extension business or own one already, this list of eyelash extension state requirements will help you avoid fines while treating your customers and staff safely and fairly.
Eyelash extension state requirements explained
Before we get into how each state’s requirements differ, we need to set a baseline understanding. The eyelash extensions state requirements California applies to its businesses will serve as our sample. We’ll outline those rules and regulations, then comb through eyelash extension requirements by state, noting where the rest of the country diverges from California’s standard.
Per California law, only a cosmetologist or esthetician with a license awarded by the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology can apply eyelash extensions. This license is distinct from a certificate that might be bestowed by cosmetology or esthetician schools, and must be posted in plain view at your primary workstation. How do you get a license? By attending a board-approved school or going through the apprenticeship program and achieving the 1,000 hours (cosmetologists) or 600 hours (estheticians) required to take the licensing exam. You can also practice skin care to the Board’s definition for the equivalent amount of time in another state and then apply. However you get the hours under your belt, you can apply for a test through the Board’s website. It covers application, removal, limitations, and health and safety topics. Pass, and you’ve got yourself a license.
If you don’t plan to do any eyelash work yourself, you don’t need a cosmetologist or esthetician license to own an eyelash extension business, but you may lose credibility with customers without one. Regardless, you’ll need an Establishment license to open the business. You’ll find the application on the Board’s site.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires businesses maintain an Injury and Illness Prevention Plan. California offers no-cost consultation services to help effect safe working conditions.
California businesses must also maintain Workers’ Compensation Insurance coverage on either a self-insured basis, through a commercial carrier, or through the State Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fund. Speaking of which…
Eyes are very delicate, and no matter how practiced a human is, they’re going to make a mistake eventually. You, your employees, and your business need to be protected if and when that happens. That starts with public liability insurance, which covers compensation claims and legal costs in the event of an injury to a customer, a member of the public, or to someone’s property at your business. Next, you’ll need product liability insurance, which essentially provides the same coverage but for mishaps resulting from products you use rather than the actions of your employees. The last essential piece of insurance is employers’ liability insurance. This protects you and your employees if they’re injured or get sick in the course of work. It pays any compensation awarded against you and legal fees incurred in the process, and protects you against claims made by your employees.
Beyond this core trifecta of policies, common advice is to consult with an insurance specialist before opening up shop. Specialist insurance exists for the lash industry, and a provider will know more about what your business needs.
Most of the eyelash extension state requirements tied to sanitation are straightforward practices you’d likely incorporate even without knowledge of the rules. Everything clean, unused, or disinfected must be stored in closed containers, cabinets, or drawers with labels denoting them as such. That means tools, towels, tweezers — all of it. Liquids, creams, waxes, gels, and other cosmetic preparations should also be kept in clean, closed, labeled containers; powders can be kept in shakers. Disinfectant should be kept in a closed, labeled container big enough to completely immerse any and all tools that require disinfection. You should replace the disinfectant itself according to the manufacturer’s instructions or whenever it becomes cloudy or full of debris.
Before working on a client, all workers must thoroughly wash their hands and disinfect all tools. Clients must wear sanitary neck strips or towels to keep client capes and the like from coming into contact with their neck. Similarly, headrests and treatment tables must be covered with a clean towel, sheet, or paper for each client.
Used single-use tools should be disposed of via closed containers, while soiled towels, gowns, and other reusable cloths should be placed in closed, labeled containers and laundered before re-use. Reusable tools go in their own labeled containers.
Finally, your business must offer a restroom for customers, a place to wash hands with hot and cold water, and potable drinking water.
If all this seems difficult to remember, worry not: the Board offers a handy self-inspection sheet to keep track of it all.
Eyelash extension requirements by state
In most cases, California’s standards for eyelash extensions match up with the rest of the country’s. The Washington state eyelash extension requirements, for example, are the same with regard to licensing. But there are exceptions. Some states, such as Maryland, have no licensing requirements at all. Here’s the full list of licensing and training eyelash extension requirements by state.
Alabama: No license required. — Alabama Board of Cosmetology and Barbering
Alaska: Hairdresser or esthetician license required. — Alaska Board of Barbers and Hairdressers
Arizona: Cosmetology or aesthetician license required. — Arizona State Board of Cosmetology
Arkansas: Cosmetology, aesthetician, or barber license required. — Arkansas Department of Health
California: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
Colorado: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Colorado Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure
Connecticut: Eyelash technician license required. — Connecticut Department of Public Health
Delaware: Cosmetology or aesthetician license required. — Delaware Board of Cosmetology and Barbering
Florida: Cosmetology license required, followed by eyelash extension technician training. — Florida Board of Cosmetology
Georgia: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers
Hawaii: Cosmetology, esthetician, or barber license required. — Hawaii Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
Idaho: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Idaho Barber and Cosmetology Services Licensing Board
Illinois: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Indiana: Certificate of training required, but no license. — Indiana Department of Health
Iowa: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Iowa Board of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences
Kansas: Cosmetology or esthetician license required, and the service must be performed in a licensed facility. — Kansas Board of Cosmetology
Kentucky: Cosmetology or esthetician license, or eyelash specialty permit. — Kentucky Board of Cosmetology
Louisiana: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Louisiana Board of Cosmetology
Maine: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Maine Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation
Maryland: No license required. — Maryland Board of Cosmetologists
Massachusetts: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Massachusetts Board of Registration of Cosmetology and Barbering
Michigan: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Michigan Association of Beauty Professionals
Minnesota: Cosmetology, esthetician, or eyelash technician license required. — Minnesota Board of Cosmetology
Mississippi: No license requirement. — Mississippi State Board of Cosmetology
Missouri: Unclear. Consult with Missouri Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners.
Montana: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Montana Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists
Nebraska: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
Nevada: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Nevada State Board of Cosmetology
New Hampshire: Cosmetology or esthetician license required (May change soon). — New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification
New Jersey: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling
New Mexico: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — New Mexico Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists
New York: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — New York State Department of State
North Carolina: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners
North Dakota: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — North Dakota State Board of Cosmetology
Ohio: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Ohio Cosmetology and Barber Board
Oklahoma: Cosmetologist, esthetician, or facialist license required. — Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering
Oregon: Esthetician or hair design license required. — Oregon Board of Cosmetology
Pennsylvania: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Pennsylvania State Board of Cosmetology
Rhode Island: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Rhode Island Board of Hairdressing and Barbering
South Carolina: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — South Carolina Board of Cosmetology
South Dakota: Cosmetology or esthetician license, plus 16 hours of eyelash extension training required. — South Dakota Cosmetology Commission
Tennessee: Cosmetology or aesthetician license required. — Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners
Texas: Cosmetologist, esthetician, or eyelash extension specialist license required. — Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
Utah: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Utah Division of Professional Licensing
Vermont: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Vermont Office of Professional Regulation
Virginia: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Virginia Board for Barbers and Cosmetology
Washington: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Washington State Department of Licensing
West Virginia: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — West Virginia Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists
Wisconsin: No license required. — Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services
Wyoming: Cosmetology or esthetician license required. — Wyoming Board of Cosmetology
For updates on policies and regulations, be sure to periodically check in with the relevant state authority.