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State Board of Cosmetology

Toll Free: 1-833-DOS-BPOA (1-833-367-2762)
Cosmetology Licensure Guide & Timeline

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 Dasher, Inc., at 1-866-474-1148 or email: paboards@dasherinc.com and ask for a reinstatement application.  Dasher, Inc., processes all exam applications for the exam administrator, Pearson VUE.   To view a copy of the Law and Regulations, please visit: www.dos.pa.gov/cosmet  


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.