How to Become a Cosmetologist in Alaska

Total salon sales of beauty products and services in Alaska in 2013 totaled $96 million. The beauty industry in Alaska supports 140 salon and spa establishments and 930 employees.

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If you want to begin a cosmetology career as a hairdresser and stylist in Alaska, you must become licensed through the Alaska Board of Barbers and Hairdressers, which involves completing the following:

Complete a Formal Training Program in Cosmetology
Apply for a Hairdresser License in Alaska
Take and Pass the Required Examinations for Licensure
Keep your Hairdresser License Current



Step 1. Complete a Formal Training Program in Cosmetology

Enrolling in a formal training program from a cosmetology school in Alaska is the ideal way to begin exploring your creativity and artistic vision. To ensure you are prepared to become a licensed cosmetologist in Alaska, it is important to make sure the program you choose involves at least 1,650 hours of training and is approved by the Board. You can view a list of approved cosmetology programs here.

Cosmetology programs may be offered through dedicated beauty schools, junior colleges, or vocational schools. A comprehensive cosmetology program usually takes between 12 and 18 months to complete, while an associate degree in cosmetology takes 2 years to complete.

You can expect a cosmetology associate degree to feature additional study in areas such as marketing and business management.

Although a cosmetology license in Alaska is referred to as a hairdressing license, it does give you the authority to perform a host of salon services. You can expect a cosmetology program in Alaska to include study in the following:

  • Trimming, arranging, curling, styling, dressing, waving, cutting, bleaching, coloring, conditioning, and cleansing
  • Trimming or cutting facial hair
  • Limited esthetics, including temporary removal of hair on the face or neck, including eyebrow waxing
  • Application of makeup and false eyelashes
  • Manicuring and pedicuring

If you have aspirations of specializing in a certain area of cosmetology, you may become licensed to do so in less time through a dedicated license. An esthetician license requires the completion of 350 hours of study, a nail technician license requires the completion of a 12-hour course, and an advanced manicurist license requires the completion of 250 hours of study.

You may also choose to complete an apprenticeship in cosmetology in lieu of a formal cosmetology program. A cosmetology apprenticeship, which involves working under the direct guidance of a licensed cosmetologist, requires the completion of at least 2,000 hours of training.

You may also qualify for a hairdresser license in Alaska through a combination of coursework and apprenticeship. The Board utilizes the following criteria when determining equivalent hours of coursework and apprenticeship:

  • One coursework hour equals 1.121 apprenticeship hour
  • Once apprenticeship hour equals .825 coursework hour



Step 2. Apply for a Hairdresser License in Alaska

You must apply for licensure in Alaska upon meeting the practice requirements achieved through a formal cosmetology program or apprenticeship. To apply for a hairdresser license, you must provide the Board with the following:

  • A notarized Application for Hairdresser License
  • Supporting documents showing the completion of your training (must be original documents)
  • A check or money order (made payable to the State of Alaska) for the following:
    • Examination fee of $95 (includes the $35 written examination fee and the $60 practical examination fee)
    • Application fee of $80
    • Initial license fee of $140

You may also apply for a temporary license to practice hairdressing if you have applied for, and are qualified to, take the Alaska cosmetology examinations. A temporary license allows you to practice under the supervision of a licensed cosmetologist. To apply for a temporary license, you must also provide the Board with (in addition to the above standard application for licensure requirements):

  • A temporary license fee of $80
  • A Statement of Responsibility form (must be completed by the licensed cosmetologist under whom you will be working), which is included in the application packet

Temporary licenses are valid for up to 120 days and are nonrenewable.



Step 3. Take and Pass the Required Examinations for Licensure

You can expect to be notified by the Board of your eligibility to take the written and practical examinations after the Board receives your application. Both examinations are scheduled about every 4 weeks in Anchorage and about every 8 weeks in Fairbanks. You will be notified by the Board of the exact time and place of the upcoming examination. You can also view 2015 examination dates here.

You must pay close attention to the examination deadline dates and ensure that your notarized application for licensure, the related fees, and all supporting documentation are received before this date.

You can expect to complete the following for your practical examination:

  • Hairstyle
  • Perm
  • Virgin tint
  • Haircut, blow drying, and iron curling

The Board utilizes the National Cosmetology theory examination for its written examination, which was developed and administered by the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC). This examination assessed students on the following:

  • Scientific concepts
  • Haircare and services
  • Skincare and services
  • Nail care and services

Additional information on taking the examination in Alaska can be found here.



Step 4. Keep your Hairdresser License Current

Your hairdresser license in Alaska expires on August 31 of all odd-numbered years and must be renewed through the Alaska Board of Barbers and Hairdressers.

Although there are no continuing education requirements to maintain your cosmetology license in Alaska, it is always beneficial to take courses to stay current on the latest trends and advances in hair care, nail care, and skincare/makeup.

Individuals who want to pursue salon management often seek associate degrees in cosmetology (if they haven’t earned one already) or bachelor degrees in areas such as health and beauty management or salon and spa management. Further, if you have your sights set on opening up your own salon, courses in business management and marketing are always beneficial.

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