Skip To The Main Content

Need help? Call us!

Iowa Business Assistance − 866.537.6052
Iowa Business Licensing Help

Cosmetologist License Print This Page

A cosmetologist shampoos, cuts, colors, singes, bleaches, curls, styles, chemically curls and straightens hair for men, women and children. They may work on wigs and hairpieces, use cosmetics on customers, massage customers' scalps, do manicures and pedicures, apply artificial nails, or do nail tips and extensions. Duties may include massaging, cleansing, stimulating, exercising, beautifying, or similar techniques upon the face, neck, arms, hands, or upper part of the body with the hands or mechanical or electrical apparatus or appliances with other preparations. Cosmetologists might also sell hair care products or other beauty related items, answer the telephone, take appointments, schedule walk-in customers, operate cash register, and stock supplies. See also Cosmetology Instructor, Electrologist, Esthetician, Manicurist, or Nail Technologist. Separate licensures are available for each.
Contact Information
Department of Public Health
321 E 12th Street
Lucas Building
Des Moines IA, 50319-0075(map)
Bureau of Professional LicensurePLPublic@idph.iowa.gov
P: (515) 281-0254
F: (515) 281-3121

License Details

Code Citation
IC, Chapter 157; 645 IAC 60, 61, 63, 64, 65
Who Applies
Persons wishing to practice cosmetology in Iowa.
When To Apply
After completion of academic and examination requirements and before practice.
Initial Requirements
Applicants must have a high school education or have passed the General Education Development (GED) test and complete 2,100 hours of training at least ten months in duration. The 2,100 hours of training includes 615 hours in cosmetology theory, 150 hours in core life sciences, and 1,335 hours of supervised practical instruction. Out-of-state applicants must submit proof of passing the National Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) exam.
Duration
Two years.
Processing Time
30 days after receipt of examination scores. Online renewal in real time.
Fee Structure
Initial License: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/ACO/chapter/645.5.pdf Renewal: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/ACO/chapter/645.5.pdf
Renewal Requirements
Eight hours of continuing education are required biennially for license renewal.
Exam
National Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology Examination
Additional Information
Persons wishing to practice cosmetology in Iowa.
Visit Agency Page for More Information