Board Meetings will continue to take place at their current location within Penn Center (2601 N 3rd St) until further notice.
State Board of Cosmetology
The State Board of Cosmetology regulates the practice and licensure of estheticians; nail technicians; cosmetologists and teachers of cosmetology; and cosmetology salons and schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Board promulgates and enforces regulations for the examination and licensure of applicants to practice or teach cosmetology and to manage schools of cosmetology.
The Board also issues apprentice permits in appropriate circumstances as well as licenses to perform nail technology only, natural hair braiding only or practice esthetics only. The Board prescribes disinfection standards to be followed to prevent the creation or spread of infectious diseases.
Please read the following important information:
- On November 5, 2018, the State Board of Cosmetology approved a consent agreement (case number 17-45-06196) in which the Respondent acknowledged that the practice of microblading is outside of the scope of cosmetology and that performing microblading within a cosmetology salon is a violation of 49 Pa. Code § 7.77 (use of salon for other purposes prohibited).
- The Board’s regulations allow an applicant to request a variance from the minimum space requirements set forth in 49 Pa. Code § 7.76 (floor space). All floor space variance requests shall be submitted in the manner set forth in the new salon application or salon change application, whichever is applicable.
- Bureau inspectors will continue to inspect the entirety of your salon for compliance with 49 Pa. Code § 7.77 and all other relevant regulations and provisions of the Cosmetology Act.
- Reminder: The Board staff and Board counsel are unable to give advisory opinions, legal advice or interpretations of the Cosmetology Act and Board regulations. Please consult an attorney of your choice for legal advice or interpretations of the Cosmetology Act and Board regulations.
IF YOUR LICENSE IS EXPIRED
If your license has been expired for less than 5 years, please visit www.pals.pa.gov to reactivate your license. Upon logging in to PALS, scroll down until you see your license number. To the left of your license number, you will see a green pencil icon. Click on the green pencil and a pop up window will appear. You will then see the word "reactivate"; click on it and follow the directions to reactivate your license. Payment is by credit or debit card only. After successful reactivation of your license, it will be mailed to you. Please ensure that you maintain a valid mailing address so that your license is not returned to the Board. Also, please allow seven to ten business days to receive your renewed license in the mail.
If your license has been expired for more than 5 years, the Cosmetology Law states that you must retake the examination in order to reactivate the license. Please contact Pearson Vue OHT., at 888-511-5352 or access the reinstatement application from the
OHT Processing Center Website. OHT Processing Center processes all exam applications for the exam administrator, Pearson VUE. To view a copy of the Law and Regulations, please click
The Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) received reports that persons pretending to be from one of the business-related boards are contacting both active and inactive licensees. The scammers are altering the information that appears on caller ID to show the State Board phone number and name (spoofing). The scammers are known to be aggressively accusing licensees of drug trafficking and/or money laundering and sending emails and text messages indicated the license has been suspended. In addition, the scammers are sending facsimiles to licensees on forged letterhead, originating from a fake phone number.
BPOA reminds licensees and applicants of the following:
· We will NOT text, call or fax you a suspension notification. The Department initiates disciplinary action through an administrative process. If you are the subject of an investigation or disciplinary action, you will receive notice by certified mail and/or personal service.
· We will NOT engage you in a 3-way call with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
· We will NOT ask you to receive faxes from a specific retailer for a fee.
· Do NOT give your personal or financial information over the phone, by text message or fax, including your zip code.
· We will NEVER request payment for any service or civil penalty by wire, gift cards or transfer to a foreign country.
· We WILL provide you with a contact name and phone number if you are the subject of an investigation or disciplinary action.
· CONTACT the Board office if you are not sure if a communication pertaining to your licensure status is legitimate.
· CONTACT your local police department or the Pennsylvania State Police if you believe you have been the victim of a scam.
· REPORT any email or online scam attempts to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) Internet Crime Complaint Center(IC3) | Home Page
Please note that neither the Board/Commission, nor its staff or counsel, are permitted to provide legal advice or advisory opinions, including interpretations of the law or regulations, or any indication as to how the Board would vote on any given case or scenario. You are invited to contact a private attorney or professional organization for advice or guidance.