What to Expect From a Cosmetology Program in Texas
1,000 Education Hours
Required to earn a cosmetology license
Your 1,000-hour program will cover hair cutting, manicuring, anatomy, sanitation, and more. Schools are expected to divide training as follows:
Haircare: 800 hours
Nail care: 100 hours
Skincare: 100 hours
The 300-hour pathway is split into more specific topics, as this path means you've already completed the 1,000-hour Class A Barber License:
Haircutting, styling and related theory: 30 hours
Hair coloring and related theory: 50 hours
Permanent waving including chemical hair relaxing and related theory: 30 hours
Orientation, rules, and laws: 20 hours
Manicuring and related theory: 50 hours
Shampoo and related theory: 10 hours
Chemistry: 20 hours
Salon management and practices: 10 hours
Hair and scalp treatment and related theory: 5 hours
Facials and related theory: 75 hours
Your school needs to be licensed by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), so check on this before beginning your program. Beauty schools are regularly inspected and have to meet specific requirements. For example, the schools need to have different clinical and instructional workspaces, implement good hygiene practices, and keep their licenses current.
Can I Apprentice as a Cosmetologist in Texas?
Apprenticeships aren't permitted for cosmetology or other beauty training in Texas.
Texas Cosmetology Licensing Requirements
Once you complete 900 of the 1,000 required training hours, you can apply to take your written exam. You have to pass both the written and practical exams to earn licensure.
You can't take the practical test until you've passed the written one. You remain eligible to take the test for five years and can retake the test as many times as you need to within this period–though you need to pay for each attempt.
Written exams are $50, and practical exams are $72. You must have finished all training hours before applying to take the practical test.
Upon confirming your eligibility, the TDLR will contact you with instructions for scheduling an appointment to take the examinations created and managed by PSI. You can track your progress on the TDLR website.
Both exams are administered in English. You can request to take them in Spanish or Vietnamese for no additional cost. You may also ask to have the exam translated into other languages by contacting PSI and paying an additional fee.
PSl examination centers meet the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 standards. If you need accommodations, contact them directly.
When it's time to take the test, get to the site 30 minutes early with a valid photo ID and all your supplies and equipment. Your supplies have to be labeled as specified in the exam bulletin.
The written test has 100 scored items and takes two hours to complete. You need to get at least a 70% to pass. Points are divided across the following areas:
Licensing and regulation: 20 questions on health and safety and responsibilities of the licensee
Infection control: 28 questions on cleaning and disinfecting, safety procedures, skin analysis, nail analysis, hair analysis, and skin analysis
Hair and scalp care: 40 questions on physiology, products, hair cutting, hair styling, chemical texture services, and hair coloring
Nail care: Six questions on manicuring, pedicuring, and nail enhancements
Skincare: Six questions on facials, hair removal, and artificial lashes
The practical examination includes 130 scored items in total and takes three hours and 45 minutes to complete. Like the written test, you need at least a 70% to pass. The exam covers a range of practical tasks, in the following order:
Pre-examination set up and disinfection: 10 minutes
Monomer and polymer over nail tip: 32 minutes
Blood exposure incident: 12 minutes
Eyelash strip application: 14 minutes
Facial: 17 minutes
Waxing with soft wax: 14 minutes
Haircut: 42 minutes
Permanent wave: 22 minutes
Blow drying and thermal curling: 22 minutes
Mannequin preparation: 10 minutes
Foil highlights: not timed
Hydroxide virgin relaxer: 10 minutes
Hydroxide relaxer retouch: 10 minutes
End of examination disinfection: 10 minutes
After the test, a proctor will give you your results and a report covering your strengths and areas for improvement.
Texas Cosmetology Licensure Reciprocity
If you have a cosmetology license in another state, you may be eligible for reciprocity in Texas. This allows you to carry over your current license without new training or testing.
Eligibility requirements vary according to the state you originally trained in, but once you have confirmed reciprocity is possible, you need to do the following to gain licensure in Texas:
Provide required documentation
Submit a completed Cosmetology License by Reciprocity Application Form
Pay a $100 non-refundable application fee
Other reciprocity options are available for active-duty military, veterans, and military spouses.
Cosmetology Specialties in Texas
Once you're trained and licensed as a cosmetologist, you may choose to specialize in a specific area. Some of these specialties may require additional licensure. For example:
For eyelash extensions, you must apply for an eyelash extension specialty license, requiring 320 hours of training.
To specialize in hair weaving or wig application, you must complete at least 300 hours of instruction in cosmetology at a licensed beauty school, then apply for a hair weaving or wig specialty certificate.
For each of these, you must pass written and practical exams and pay a non-refundable fee of $50.
License renewal period
Continuing education required
All Texas cosmetologists need to renew their licenses every two years. To renew, you need to complete four hours of state-approved continuing education courses (including a mandatory hour on sanitation) and pay a $50 renewal fee.
You can begin your renewal process 60 days before your license expires. Continuing education can be completed at any time in the two years before expiration.
If you are 65 years or older and have held a cosmetologist's license for at least 15 years, you only need to complete one hour of continuing education on sanitation.
If your license has been expired for more than 90 days, but less than 18 months, you can renew by paying a $100 fee. This is also true if your license has been expired for at least 18 months but less than three years, though you likely need approval from the licensure board. If your license expired three or more years ago, you have to retake your tests and get a new license.
Renewal can take several weeks, and you can't work as a cosmetologist in Texas if your license has expired, so plan ahead.