How to Become a Cosmetologist in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering (OSBCB) is responsible for issuing cosmetology licenses in the state. Follow these steps to learn how to become a licensed cosmetologist in Oklahoma:

Enter Zip:
Meet the Cosmetology Licensing Requirements in Oklahoma
Pass the Cosmetologist Written and Practical Exams
Apply for Licensure with the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering (OSBCB)
Keep Your Oklahoma Cosmetology License Up-to-Date

The field of cosmetology offers job security, flexibility and freedom, all in a career that involves working to help clients look and feel their best. Whether styling hair, offering skin and nail care treatments or helping clients find the makeup that is perfect for their particular skin tone, working as a cosmetologist will allow you to express yourself creatively while helping clients develop the look that’s right for them.

Oklahoma is far from Hollywood, but the state is no stranger to big-name celebrities. The old favorite from your grandparents’ generation, Will Rogers, and Hollywood’s hottest A-list celeb, Brad Pitt, both call Oklahoma home. Depending on the salon or beauty shop you choose to set your chair up in, you could work to maintain classic styles for regular clientele, or use your knowledge of the latest styles to develop hot new looks for trendy young clients – the choice is yours.



Step 1. Meet the Cosmetology Licensing Requirements in Oklahoma

There are three basic eligibility routes to become a cosmetologist in Oklahoma:

  • Graduate from an Oklahoma cosmetology school
  • Complete an Oklahoma apprentice program
  • Graduate from an equivalent cosmetology course of study in another state or country

Cosmetology Schools in Oklahoma

By the most recent count; there were 31 public and 61 private academic cosmetology programs in Oklahoma approved by the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering (OSBCB). These are located throughout the state in cities such as:

  • 13 in Oklahoma City
  • 9 in Tulsa
  • 3 in Norman
  • 3 in Lawton
  • 2 in Broken Arrow
  • 2 in Midwest City
  • 2 in Enid
  • 2 in Stillwater
  • 1 in Edmond
  • 1 in Moore

Your course of studies must be at least 1,500 hours in length. You can typically expect to study these subjects as part of a cosmetology school curriculum:

  • Salon and spa operation – specialized and full service
  • Hairdresser training
  • Customer service
  • Use of individual creativity
  • Nail services, manicures, pedicures
  • Skincare services and facial treatments
  • Sanitation and safety
  • Makeup training
  • Relevant labor labor and professional laws
  • Latest trends and technologies in cosmetology
  • Hairstyling training
  • Advanced cosmetology techniques

Choosing this eligibility route to licensure is a great way to become a qualified and competent cosmetologist in Oklahoma while at the same time getting to know your colleagues in the field in an interactive learning environment. With nearly 100 approved cosmetology training programs in Oklahoma you should have no trouble finding a school that is right for you.

Oklahoma Cosmetologist Apprentice Programs

To be eligible for licensure as a cosmetologist via this route, you the apprentice and your instructor must meet certain requirements. You must:

  • Show that you are in dire financial circumstances and cannot afford an approved cosmetology school program or show that an approved cosmetology training program is not within a reasonable commuting distance from your place of residence
  • Be at least 16 years of age with an eighth-grade education or equivalent
  • Pay an apprentice inspection fee of $20 for cosmetology materials and textbooks

Your instructor must:

  • Be a licensed instructor who is approved by the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering (OSBCB)
  • Submit a written application to the OSBCB to be your instructor
  • Obtain a statement from the owner of the facility where you instructor practices that states he or she has permission to act as your instructor

You can also consider the following regulations that apply to apprentice programs:

  • Only one apprentice is allowed per establishment
  • Your apprenticeship must be at least 3,000 hours in length
  • Your instructor is forbidden from charging you for training, however he or she may charge clients for the services you perform

Out-of-State and Out-of-Country Reciprocity Applicants

Although the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering (OSBCB) must always give final approval for reciprocity, you can generally be eligible for a reciprocal cosmetologist license in Oklahoma if your out-of-state or out-of-country cosmetologist license was issued under similar terms. To be eligible for licensure via this route you must:

  • Arrange for the out-of-state official licensing body – usually a state board – to provide proof of your licensure as a cosmetologist to the OSBCB
  • If your state or country does not require a cosmetologist license to practice you must submit proof of an equivalent education from a state board or official agency to the OSBCB

If your circumstances are not summarized by either of these categories you will also need to pass the Cosmetologist Written and Practical Exam.

If any of the following apply to you, you must submit an Application for a Reciprocity Exam when you apply for licensure in Oklahoma:

  • You have completed an equivalent cosmetology course that is not in Oklahoma but do not have a cosmetologist license
  • You have an out-of-state cosmetology license that has been expired for less that five years
  • You have a cosmetology license but do not meet Oklahoma’s reciprocity requirements



Step 2. Pass the Cosmetologist Written and Practical Exams

You will become eligible to take the Cosmetologist Written and Practical Exam as you approach the end of your school or apprentice program. Once you are within 100 hours of completing your cosmetologist training you can fill out an Exam Registration Application for the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering (OSBCB). You must submit this form within 10 days of completing your cosmetologist training.

The Cosmetologist Written and Practical Exam covers the following subjects:

  • Physical demonstration of basic cosmetology tasks
  • Theory behind cosmetology procedures
  • Safety procedures
  • State rules, regulations, and laws

Your instructor or cosmetology school will provide you with more information about testing locations, test content, and materials you will need to bring to the exam.



Step 3. Apply for Licensure with the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering (OSBCB)

Once you have met the requirements up to this point you will be ready to fill out an Application for Individual License as a cosmetologist. Your application and any accompanying materials should be sent to the following address:

  • Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering
    2401 NW 23rd Street, Suite 84
    Oklahoma City, OK 73107

If you are applying for a cosmetology license as an out-of-state or out-of-country candidate you will need to submit one of the following applications in place of the Application for Individual License:



Step 4. Keep Your Oklahoma Cosmetology License Up-to-Date

You will need to renew your cosmetology license with the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering (OSBCB) every year by the last day of your birth month. You can find the license renewal form attached to the license from the OSBCB. To successfully renew your license you must submit the renewal form plus a renewal fee of $25 to the OSBCB.

Oklahoma law stipulates that anyone who practices occupations under the following or related job titles will need to obtain a cosmetology license:

  • Cosmetologists
  • Beauticians
  • Beauty culturists
  • Cosmeticians
  • Beauty operators
  • Hairdressers

According to state law cosmetologists are recognized as performing the following services:

  • Manipulation, alteration, and cleansing of the hair of any person by any means including with hands and electrical devices
  • Cosmetic services that do not puncture the skin
  • Application of cosmetic antiseptics, lotions, creams, and tonics
  • Performance of these services on a person’s face, neck, scalp, bust, or upper body
  • Manicuring a person’s nails

As you research cosmetology jobs in Oklahoma you should also keep in mind that in addition to licenses in this occupation, the state also grants the following separate licenses:

  • Barbering license
  • Cosmetician license
  • Demonstrator license
  • Esthetician and facialist license
  • Hairbraiding technician license
  • Manicurist license

You can find additional information about the field of cosmetology in Oklahoma with organizations such as:

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