How to Become a Cosmetologist in Michigan

Does it make you feel good to make others look good? If so, you might consider becoming a cosmetologist. Cosmetology is one of the fastest-growing fields in Michigan, with projected job growth of 20 percent over the next 10 years.

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If it is your desire to become a licensed cosmetologist in Michigan, consult this guide:

Get your Cosmetology Education and Training
Submit Your Cosmetology License and Examination Applications
Pass the Necessary Examinations and Receive Your License
Maintain Your License

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Bureau of Cosmetology is responsible for licensing cosmetologists in Michigan. If you want to become a licensed Michigan cosmetologist, you must fulfill the state’s education and training requirements, either through attending a formal education program or by being trained as an apprentice.

As a licensed cosmetologist in Michigan, you may offer beauty services that include nail care, hair cutting and styling, facials and makeup while working in a beauty salon, or even in less common milieus like health care facilities, performing arts groups, studios, the offices of health care professionals – or you could open a shop of your own!



Step 1. Get Your Cosmetology Education and Training in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Licensing Division, Cosmetology Department requires all candidates who wish to become cosmetologists to fulfill certain requirements. First, you must be at least 17 years old and possess at least a ninth grade education. You must also complete one of the following education and training options:

  • Option 1: Complete 1500 hours of study at a licensed school of cosmetology
    • A listing of licensed cosmetology schools in Michigan as of April 2014 is maintained by the Department. Licensed cosmetology programs are found all across the state of Michigan, in cities including:
      • Cadillac
      • Brighton
      • East Lansing
      • Flint
      • Grand Rapids
      • Ann Arbor
      • Troy
      • Springfield
      • Livonia
      • Detroit
  • Your 1500 hours of study will include didactic and practical instruction. Usually the first 10 weeks or so of a program is spent in the classroom, while the remainder of the program will be spent working on clients. You will learn hair cutting and hair coloring techniques, chemical treatments, hair styling, scalp treatments, manicuring, facial manipulations, waxing and more.
  • Option 2: Serve as an apprentice for at least two years in a licensed cosmetology establishment. If you choose this route, complete the Apprenticeship Training Program application along with the licensed cosmetologist for whom you will be apprenticing. Your cosmetology mentor must have at least three years of experience as a licensed cosmetologist and must always be present when you are training.

Your mentor must also agree to train you for no more than seven hours per day or 40 hours per week, and to compose, test and grade you on practical and theory portions of the curriculum.

You are expected to complete a total of 1920 hours of training during your apprenticeship. After completing 350 hours, you are allowed to train with your practitioner in public.

Mail the application, fee and any supporting documentation to Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau, Licensing Division, Cosmetology, P.O. Box 30244, Lansing, MI 48909. Once your apprenticeship is completed, you are not allowed to continue working until you obtain your cosmetology license.



Step 2. Submit Your Cosmetology License and Examination Applications

Your next step, after completing your educational and/or training requirements, is to pass the necessary examinations. Before you may do this, you must submit a licensing application online through MyLicense, Michigan’s online licensing portal.

You must pay licensing fees online, and submit additional documentation to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Commercial Services, Licensing Division, Cosmetology,P.O. Box 30244, Lansing, MI 48909. Once your license application is approved, the Bureau will send you approval to apply to take the examination.



Step 3. Pass the Necessary Examinations and Receive Your Cosmetology License in Michigan

PSI Exams Online is responsible for administering Michigan’s cosmetology licensing examination. You will be instructed to apply online to take the exam once the Bureau has approved your licensure application. The exam is in two parts: Practical and Theory. The fee to take both parts of the exam is $161, payable online when you register (if you register for just one portion of the exam, each portion is $91).

Practical – The Michigan Cosmetology Practical Exam is three hours and 10 minutes long. You must provide your own mannequin head, hand and supplies for the exam. A list of supplies you will need may be found here. You will be tested on the following practical skills:

  • Safety criteria (set up and disinfection)
  • Manicure service
  • Facial service
  • Chemical services
  • Clean up and shampoo
  • Permanent waving service
  • Hair cutting service
  • Blow drying and thermal curling service
  • End of exam disinfection

It is administered at the following Michigan locations:

  • Southfield
  • Grand Rapids
  • Marquette

You must score 75 percent or better to pass the practical portion of the exam. A score report will be mailed to you within a week of taking the exam.

Theory – The Michigan Cosmetology Theory Exam is 120 minutes long. Content that you will be tested on includes:

  • General concepts (infection control, client protection)
  • Applied anatomy (hair and scalp, skin, nails)
  • Physical services (shampoos and rinses, scalp and hair care, skin, facials, hair removal, manicures)
  • Chemical services (relaxing, waving, hair coloring,hair lightening)
  • Hair styling and shaping
  • State laws and regulations

It is administered via computer at the following locations in Michigan:

  • Holt
  • Grand Rapids
  • Southfield
  • Marquette
  • Gaylord

You must score 70 percent or better to pass the written part of the exam. Immediately following the test, you will be issued a score report. If you have passed the Practical and Theory portions of the exam, you will receive your Michigan cosmetology license at the testing center on the day of the Theory exam and may begin working immediately under the license.



Step 4. Maintain Your Michigan Cosmetologist License

Congratulations! You are now a licensed cosmetologist in Michigan!

Your license renews every two years. Renewals must be done online through the state’s MyLicense portal. Renewal fee is $25, payable online. You should receive a renewal notice by mail about 60 days before your license is due to expire. Currently, continuing education is not required to renew your cosmetology license in Michigan.

As mentioned before, jobs for cosmetologists in Michigan are plentiful statewide. Examples of some of the state’s larger salons include:

  • Patrone’s Day Spa & Salon – Brooklyn
  • Flip – Farmdale
  • Trillium, A Complete Salon & Day Spa – Petoskey
  • Antonio Salon and Spa – Birmingham
  • Elle Salon – Michigan City
  • Studio 9 Salon – Sterling Heights
  • Curl Up and Dye – Detroit

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