How to Become a Cosmetologist in Louisiana

Louisiana had two salons that made it onto Elle’s list of Top 100 Salons in the US—Paris Parker Salon and Steven Sobel Salon, which are both located in New Orleans. After becoming a cosmetologist in Louisiana, you could find yourself working in top salons like these, where you will be encouraged to stay on top of the latest beauty and fashion trends. As a cosmetologist, you will find yourself in the tight-knit community of stylists, hairdressers, and makeup artist, spending each day helping clients look and feel beautiful.

Enter Zip:

Your first step to becoming a cosmetologist in Louisiana is becoming familiar with the Louisiana Board of Cosmetology, which is the agency that regulates licensure for the state.

Follow these simple steps to learn how to become a licensed cosmetologist in Louisiana:

Meet Educational Requirements
Pass National and State Exams
Apply for and Maintain your License with the Louisiana Board of Cosmetology
Finding Work in Louisiana’s Salon Industry



Step 1. Meet Educational Requirements

The educational requirement for an applicant for cosmetology licensure in Louisiana is completing 1500 hours in a Board-approved cosmetology school. Cosmetology school is fun and exciting, and you get to learn techniques that will keep you on the cutting edge of fashion and beauty, setting you up for a successful career that involves helping people daily.

In these schools, you will learn both the theory and practice of cosmetology, mastering the art of color, hairstyling, chemicals, applying makeup, and hair texture services, so that you can provide your clients with top notch, Hollywood-style beauty.

Along with this, these programs will have courses focused around the business and retail side of cosmetology, preparing you to market yourself to get and retain clients in this fast paced industry.

Courses you may find in these schools include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Scientific Concepts of Infection Control
  • OSHA Requirements
  • Human Physiology
  • Chemical Principles
  • Shampooing
  • Draping
  • Rinsing and Conditioning
  • Facials
  • Makeup Applying
  • Manicuring
  • Chemical Services
  • Hair Designing
  • Hair Shaping
  • Louisiana Cosmetology Act and Rules Regulations

Special Permits

The Board also issues special permits in Microdermabrasion, Makeup Application, Shampoo Assistants and Alternative Hair Design. You may want to attain the additional alternative hair design permit, which will expand your skills, allowing you to provide services to a diverse group of clients.

Since April, 2003, any student may apply for a permit to practice alternative hair design, as long as they can provide evidence of completing a Board-approved alternative hair design curriculum. The curriculum should include at least 500 hours of instruction, and it should include the following subjects:

  • History Overview
  • Ancient Origins of Braiding
  • Traditional Multi0Cultural Braid Styles
  • The Multi-Cultural American Hair Experience
  • Bacteriology and Sanitation
  • Types of Bacteria
  • Growth and Reproduction
  • Prevention Techniques
  • Client Consultation
  • Hair Types and Structures
  • Scalp Diseases and Disorders
  • Shampoos, Conditioners, Herbal Treatments and Rinses for Synthetic Hair
  • Braiding and Sculpting
  • Louisiana Cosmetology Act and Rules and Regulations

Once you graduate, you will be eligible to move on to the cosmetology exams. Your school will provide the Board with proof that you have met all the requirements to take the exams, and they will work with you in order to schedule your state board exam.



Step 2. Pass National and State Exams

National Exam

As a licensure applicant, you must pass both the national NIC written and practical exams. You must have completed your beauty school training to take the practical exam, but you are allowed to take the written exam as long as you have just completed 1000 hours of beauty school training. Your beauty school will assist you with setting up the exam.

You must achieve at least a 75% on the National-Interstate Council cosmetology exam (NIC exam) in order qualify for a cosmetology license in Louisiana. Louisiana Board of Cosmetology administers the NIC exam, which includes two sections:

  • The National Cosmetology Written Exam (90 minutes)
  • National Cosmetology Practical Exam (three (3) hours)

The practical exam assesses your ability to perform the following cosmetology duties:

  • Set up and Client Protection
  • Thermal Curling
  • Haircutting
  • Chemical Waving
  • Virgin Hair Lightening
  • Hair Color Retouch
  • Virgin Relaxer Application
  • Relaxer Retouch
  • Candidate Summary
  • Final Cleanup

You should receive your results within two weeks of taking the exam. Your test scores will be forwarded to your beauty school, and your beauty school will report your scores directly to the Louisiana Board.

State Exam

You will also need to take a state exam, which focuses on Louisiana cosmetology laws and regulations. Your beauty school will help you schedule this exam, and once passed, you will be issued your license!



Step 3. Apply for and Maintain your License with the Louisiana Board of Cosmetology

You only need to apply for a license if you are applying for a license based on reciprocity, or if you are applying for special permits. If you are attaining your initial license, you will automatically be issued the license when the Board receives your passing exam scores.

If you are applying for a license based on reciprocity, meaning that you have a cosmetology license from a different state, you will need to do the following:

  • Submit application
  • Submit current photo
  • Submit copy of social security card
  • Submit current, original cosmetology license
  • Submit educational or training certification
  • Submit application fee

To renew your license, you will need to submit the licensure renewal form and the appropriate fee. Although there are no continuing education requirements for renewal, you will want to make sure that you are taking continuing education courses, and they may even be provided by your employing salon. The higher the education you receive, the higher your earning potential will be. The more services you can offer, the more clients you can see!

To renew, you can submit the licensure renewal form to the Board at the following address:

Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology
11622 Sunbelt Court
Baton Rouge, LA 70809



Step 4. Finding Work in Louisiana’s Salon Industry

After you attain your license, you can apply to work at any of the great salons in Louisiana. Many great salons are found in the metropolitan area, and you will find that the salon environment is almost like a family, where you are all learning the latest fashion and beauty trends together.

Some of the top salons in the state are:

  • Paris Parker, New Orleans
  • Steven Sobel Salon, New Orleans
  • Changes Unlimited Salon, Baton Rouge
  • Shear Illusions Salon, Baton Rouge
  • Aperio Salon, Shreveport

At places such as these, you can apply to work as a hairstylist, hairdresser, makeup artist or full cosmetologist. Be aware that most salons will have you rent a chair in the salon, with a few different options for a monthly rate.

After you have worked as a cosmetologist for a sufficient amount of time, often about five (5) years, you may even start to apply for jobs in salon management, cosmetology instruction, or you may even start the process of opening up your own salon!

Along with this, you can even join the Louisiana State Beauticians and Barbers Association, which gives you access to networking events and continuing education demos and classes.

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