How to Become a Cosmetologist in Connecticut

The cosmetology services industry is, by and large, an industry of luxury and indulgence. As such, Connecticut may very well be the perfect state in which to begin your cosmetology career, as affluence is prevalent in this New England state. Specifically, Connecticut’s Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metropolitan area—often referred to as the gold coast—is best known for being home to the densest concentration of wealth in the U.S.

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From the trendy salons of New Haven (home of Yale University) to the lavish salons of Greenwich, Connecticut may be your perfect fit, a place where you can explore your passion for hair, makeup, and style and your knack for expressing yourself artistically.

But before you embark on your cosmetology career, you must become licensed through the Connecticut Department of Public Health, Connecticut State Board of Barbers and Hairdressers, which requires successfully completing the following steps:

Complete a Cosmetology Program
Take and Pass the Connecticut Cosmetology Examination
Apply for a Hairdresser License in Connecticut
Keep your Hairdresser License Current



Step 1.Complete a Cosmetology Program

Although the Connecticut Department of Health uses the term “hairdresser” for licensure purposes, these licensed professionals are actually permitted to perform a number of duties beyond coloring, cutting, and styling hair. Specifically, licensed hairdressers in Connecticut are also permitted to:

  • Perform manicures and pedicures
  • Perform facials
  • Perform eyebrow arching

The only allowable route to becoming licensed as a hairdresser in Connecticut is through the completion of a comprehensive cosmetology program which, according to the Department of Health, must total at least 1,500 training hours.

The program you choose to complete, whether it culminates in a certificate or an associate degree, must be offered by a cosmetology school approved by the Board or recognized by the Connecticut State Board of Education.

Although an associate degree in cosmetology is not a prerequisite for licensure, you may choose to complete this longer program, which takes about 2 years to complete, versus a certificate or diploma program, which usually takes between 15 and 18 months to complete, as to prepare for salon management or to become a hairdresser instructor. You can expect to receive more advanced study in areas such as business and salon management in an associate degree program.



Step 2. Take and Pass the Connecticut Cosmetology Examination

The Department of Health utilizes Prometric Inc. to conduct its cosmetology examination. You must pass the Connecticut cosmetology examination upon completing your formal cosmetology program.

The Connecticut Cosmetology Examination is a closed-book examination that consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. You will have 2 hours to complete the examination. The examination is organized as follows:

  • General concepts: 15 percent (salon ethics, salon management, infection control, etc.)
  • Applied anatomy: 10 percent (hair and scalp, skin, and nails)
  • Physical services: 20 percent (shampoo and rinses; scalp and hair care; skin, facials, and temporary hair removal; and manicuring and pedicuring)
  • Chemical services: 30 percent (chemical relaxing, chemical waving, hair coloring, and hair lightening)
  • Cosmetic hair styling and shaping: 25 percent

To take the examination, you must submit an Exam Registration Form (register online here) and a $65 examination fee to Prometric. Once your registration is complete, you can expect Prometric to send you an admission letter, which includes the exact location, time, and date of your application. You must present your admission letter on the date of your examination. All examinations are administered in the greater Hartford area.

Prometric will send you a score report within 10 business days after you have taken the exam. You must score at least 70 to pass the exam.

You can learn more about taking the Connecticut cosmetology examination by reading the Connecticut Department of Public Health website.



Step 3. Apply for a Hairdresser License in Connecticut

To qualify for Connecticut hairdresser licensure, you must have completed the 9th grade, completed a formal education program, and passed the Connecticut cosmetology examination through Prometric.

To apply for licensure, you must complete and notarize a Hairdresser License Application and submit it, along with the application fee of $100 (made payable to Treasurer, State of Connecticut), to the Department of Public Health at:

410 Capitol Avenue
P.O. Box 340308
Hartford, CT 06134

You may also apply online here.

The Department must also receive an Affidavit of Hours form that has been completed and sent back directly from your cosmetology school. Your Prometric Licensing Examination Scores must also be submitted directly to the Department.

You can direct any questions regarding the application and licensure process to the Department of Public Health at 1-860-509-7603 or at [email protected].



Step 4. Keep your Hairdresser License Current

You must renew your cosmetology license in Connecticut on a biennial basis by completing a renewal form and paying the renewal fee of $100. Continuing education requirements are not a condition of renewal for cosmetologists in Connecticut; however, continuing education nevertheless remains a popular activity for Connecticut beauty professionals.

You may choose to take beauty or hairdressing courses to stay current on the latest trends and styles in the cosmetology service industry, or you may choose to pursue courses in business, marketing, or management as gain valuable knowledge to either pursue a career in salon and spa management or get your own salon up and running.

If you have already completed an associate degree in cosmetology, you may choose to complete a bachelor’s degree in a program such as business management, salon and spa management, or health and beauty management to take your career to a whole new and exciting level.

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