How to Become a Cosmetologist in Maine

As a cosmetologist, you will work as a hairstylist, makeup artist, and also do nails. If you want to specialize as a aesthetician or nail technologist, you will follow a different set of educational and examination requirements.

Enter Zip:

If you want to become a licensed cosmetologist in Maine, follow this simple guide:

Graduate from Cosmetology School
Pass NIC Exam
Apply for Licensure
Renew Licensure

Cosmetology is a fun, exciting, and rewarding career where you will get the chance to stay on the cutting edge of beauty and fashion trends. The Fringe Hair Art Salon in Kennebunkport, Maine, was voted as one of Elle’s top 100 salons across the United States!

As a cosmetologist in Maine, you will get the chance to work at luxury salons such as the Fringe, and you will get to stay on the cutting edge of beauty, learning new and unique hair and makeup services, and creating a client base that will come to know, trust, and love your expertise.

Start your career as a cosmetologist in Maine by getting familiar with the State of Maine Barbering and Cosmetology Licensing Board, which issues licenses for cosmetologists, barbers, aestheticians, and nail technologists.



Step 1. Graduate from Cosmetology School

The first step you’ll need to take is attending beauty school. Beauty school is a fun environment where you will learn all of the techniques that will make you successful as a cosmetologist.

To become a cosmetologist in Maine, you must complete at least 1500 hours of instruction in at least nine (9) months.

Your cosmetology school will cover theoretical and practical knowledge so that you can become an expert beauty professional. Courses will cover the following areas:

  • Hair Design
  • Hair Cutting
  • Color and Texture
  • Basic Skin Care
  • Business and Retail Training
  • Makeup

The business and retail training will teach you all of the necessary steps to creating a vast client base, marketing yourself, retaining your clients, and potentially someday becoming a salon owner or manager!


If you cannot attend beauty school, you may take the less traditional route of completing an apprenticeship. You’ll need to do more hours as an apprentice, completing at least 2500 hours of cosmetology trainee/apprenticeship instruction.



Step 2. Pass Exams

For the second step toward licensure, you will need to apply for an pass the National Interstate Council of State Boards Cosmetology written and practical exam, or the national NIC written and practical exams.

You must achieve at least a 75% on the National-Interstate Council cosmetology exam, or the NIC exam, in order to qualify for licensure. DL Roope Administrations, Inc. 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 must apply for licensure within one (1) year of passing the exam, or you will have to retake the exam.

Although the Board does not force you to take an exam covering the Maine cosmetology laws, rules, and regulations, you will need to notify that you have read the understand the rules, and it will be your responsibility to keep up to date on the Maine Barbering and Cosmetology Laws and Rules, the Department of Business Regulations Laws, and the Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation Rules.



Step 3. Apply for Licensure

You can apply either by examination or endorsement. To apply, you will need to provide proof that you are at least 17 years old, that you have graduated from 10th grade, that you have completed a beauty school program, and then you will need to submit the following materials—


  • Submit Application for Initial Licensure by Examination
  • Submit appropriate fee (made payable to Treasurer, State of Maine)
  • Submit official examination scores


  • Complete and Submit Application by Endorsement
  • Submit $41 application fee
  • Submit proof of age and completion of 10th grade
  • Submit original state licensure verification
  • Submit licensed work experience

Trainee License

If you are choosing to be an apprentice or trainee before you attain full licensure, you will need to get a trainee license. To do this, you must prove that you are at least 16 years old, have completed 10th grade, and you must complete the following—

  • Submit Trainee Application
  • Submit $10 application fee
  • Submit $21 background check fee

Your license will last 18 months, and over those 18 months, you must attain 2,500 hours of trainee instruction and pass the NIC exam before you can apply for full licensure.

You will submit all materials to the board at the following mailing address:

Department of Professional and Financial Regulation
Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation
35 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333

The Board does not want you to call their office to check on your application. Instead, go to to check on the status of your application.



Step 4. Renew Licensure

Licensure expires on October 31st of each year, so you will need to renew each year. You also have the ability to renew online! The annual renewal fee is just $20. Although the Board does not require you to take continuing education in order to renew, taking new courses will teach you new techniques, trends, and beauty skills that will give you an edge in your field. The more services you are able to offer, the more people you will be able to please. Both your salon and your beauty school should offer continuing education courses, where you can stay up to date on these trends and techniques.

Life After Licensure

After you achieve licensure, you will be able to look for employment at any of the wonderful, luxury salons that Maine has to offer. Some of the top salons in Maine include the following—

Fringe Hair Art – Kennebunkport
Fringe Hair Salon is a luxury salon dedicated to giving their clients the full salon experience—including complementary scalp massages with every service! The salon is known for their strong services for bridal hair, eyebrow services, and Brazilian blowouts.

Salon Burke – Old Port, Portland
Salon Burke is an Aveda concept salon, dedicated to staying on the cutting edge of fashion and beauty trends, as well as using natural products that are will make clients hair healthy and beautiful!

CoCo Cheveux Salon – South Portland
CoCo is known for their aromatherapy later room, blow-dry bar, and wedding services. They search around the world to bring the latest styles and trends to their team and their clients.

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