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Can a Felon Get a Cosmetology License?

Can a Felon Get a Cosmetology License

For a felon, getting a license for anything does become challenging due to the legalities involved. Especially if the authorities recently convicted the individual, it becomes even more complex. Felons, post their conviction, might want to learn a new skill and carry it out as a profession.  In such a case, a certificate is compulsory.

No doubt, there are multiple resources available to learn those skills, and in the past, felons have made it into their dream careers post their conviction. The felons who have had prior experience in the field of beauty and skincare may think of turning into a cosmetologist.

In this thread, we will discuss the following queries:

  • Who is a cosmetologist?
  • What is a cosmetology license?
  • How can one get a cosmetology license?
  • Can felons get a cosmetology license?

1 Who Is A Cosmetologist?

Cosmetologist primarily works in the beauty and skincare industry. For instance, a cosmetologist could work as a stylist and hairdresser, and one would have deep knowledge about the art. As any hair care expert, then cosmetologists primarily work with the clients to either style their hair, cut and trim their hair, shape and trim the eyebrows, cut and polish nails, etc.

can felon get the cosmetology license

Cosmetologists also perform skin care procedures. This involves the application of beauty products, makeup, and client makeover.

2 What Is A Cosmetology License?

To practice a profession, it is required to get a license from the state agency. A license acts as proof that you hold the required knowledge and skill-set to perform a specific job. Government issues the license to individuals if they feel they are fit to carry out the profession.

Usually, these are the credentials that get attained post meeting the required educational criteria. To work in any professional occupation, one cannot work without a government license.

canthe felon get cosmetology license

A license is:

  • Issued by an authorized government agency
  • It gives the legal authority to the individual to work in that particular occupation
  • Requires the license holder to meet specific desired criteria such as either passing a particular degree or clearing a state-exam.

A cosmetologist’s license from an authorized program allows the license holder to perform skincare, nail care, and hair care activities. A point to note here is that multiple states issue an individual license for different areas about beauty and health, so one has t refer to the state laws before obtaining a license.

In short, if the license holder possesses all the required skill-set and knowledge, then getting a license does become more accessible. No one can start the practice without a license. The authorities consider this illegal.

3 How Can One Get A Cosmetology License?

The state policy about issuing a cosmetology license differs from state to state. Usually, the least age to obtain a cosmetologist license does vary between 16 to 18 years. Many states require the applicant to have at least a high school diploma or the GED to enroll you in the training program of cosmetology which has been approved by the board.

To get the license from the government, the applicant needs to complete all the basic requirements, which include the following:

  • Minimum qualification at the school level
  • Attending a licensed beauty school
  • Completion of the course work
  • Passing the licensing exam of the particular state

A cosmetologist should legally get a license from his or her state. They should also attend cosmetology school for this. It would have passed the written and practical exam. The duration of a usual cosmetology program includes a total of 1500 hours approximately.

can felon get a cosmetology license

There is a procedure that needs to be followed to obtain the cosmetology license, which includes the following:

  • A theory-based written exam
  • Practical exam testing the cosmetology skills
  • A written exam on the state regulations

Various institutions such as community schools, colleges, schools, and vocational schools offer a cosmetology program. An individual graduating from one of the institutions would either get a certificate, diploma, or an associate degree.

Once the individual receives a cosmetology license, then it allows them to work in the following areas:

  • Manicure
  • Eyelash extensions
  • Hair weaving

Typically, cosmetology schools allow their students to get the certificate, which takes about 9 to 15 months to complete the course. A certification cosmetology program includes the relevant training required to become a licensed professional in cosmetology.

4 Can Felons Get A Cosmetology License?

The cosmetology license for a felon varies from state to state, as multiple factors are considered. Typically, the states have not openly exhibited the requirements of giving a license to an individual with a record. There are state departments in every state that are primarily focused on regulating and licensing the businesses that fall under the professional and business code for that very state.

At the discretion of the state board, it is at the discretion of the state board to deny the cosmetology license to the individual with a criminal record, but there has to be a strong base for rejecting. The authorities treat each cosmetology license application differently.

can a felon get cosmetology license

For a felony who is looking to get a cosmetology license from the state, here are some of the factors which are kept into consideration:

  • The nature of the convicted crime
  • How severe the crime was?
  • Checking of the recency of the crime
  • Other factors prior to the conviction of an individual

Post doing a thorough background check, the board either approves or denies applying for a felony to receive the cosmology license.


One of the critical factors to keep in mind for a felony while applying for a cosmetology license is, to be honest about everything. If the felon hides his crime but it is highlighted in the background check, the authorities consider this fraud. The authorities do not like such behavior. It is also a full-fledged crime to falsify an application. The authorities could convict an individual for this reason.

Hence, it is better to be honest from the start than lose out on a big opportunity in life. This will also give felons the second chance they were craving after release. Following all the rules is the only way to get ahead in life.

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