Permanent Make-Up
District of Columbia

The decision to undergo permanent makeup procedures, which are a form of tattooing, occurs for many reasons. Cosmetic products such as eye and lip liners and mascara can be expensive, particularly when they are repeat purchases made for years at a time. Also, applying these cosmetic items every day is time consuming and requires a steady hand. Not everyone feels adept at doing it. For these reasons and others, some individuals choose to opt for permanent makeup, especially eye and lip liner and eyebrow enhancement.

Other types of permanent makeup are applied to restore a more normal appearance after surgery, illness, or injury, for example, aereola restoration following surgery on the breast. Individuals who practice the art of applying permanent makeup have a sub-specialty within the beauty industry that can become a niche practice and create a good income. For this reason, studying permanent makeup in DC can be a great career choice for someone considering a career, or already in a career, in the beauty industry.

State License Requirements

In the District of Columbia, you will need to complete 132 hours of study in an accredited institution to become licensed by the Board of Cosmetology in the area of permanent makeup. After completing your training, you will need to take and pass the licensing exam which includes both a theoretical (written) and practical part. Once you are licensed, you will need to continue your education and take a minimum of six hours of continuing education courses every two years to renew your license. Continuing education courses are offered in many venues.

Education Details

Permanent makeup, also known as tattooing, micropigmentation, or dermapigmentation is a process of applying indelible pigments to the dermal layer of the skin for cosmetic purposes. It dates back to the early 20th century. Programs of instruction in permanent makeup and its application can be found in most schools of cosmetology and can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks or months. If you choose to apprentice with an experienced practitioner, your training may continue for as long as a year. Most people who go for training in permanent makeup already have certificates or degrees in cosmetology, hairdressing, or some other area of the beauty industry. Some health care professionals, such as nurses and doctors, may wish to train in this technique so that they can offer restorative work as part of their practice. And some tattoo specialists may go for training to expand their skills into the area of permanent cosmetics. Depending upon your background, your training may be longer or shorter. Classes in permanent makeup teach you about the anatomy and physiology of skin and hair, and about the nature of the pigments used in the process. You will also learn about the tools used to apply permanent makeup, and about sterilization and sanitation procedures. You will watch videos and live demonstrations of people applying permanent makeup to other people before you are permitted to practice on live human beings.

License Renewal
License Renewal Hours
2 Years
License Renewal Period

Barbering licenses expire on September 30 of odd-numbered years. Cosmetology, esthetician, nail technician, electrologist, and permanent makeup licenses expire on April 30 of even-numbered years. Washington D.C. requires 6 cosmetology continuing education hours during each renewal period. Two hours must be in sanitation and hygiene, and the other four hours can be in any subject or area of study.

Job Outlook Increase
Between 2012 - 2022

According to statistics reported by O*Net, the median salary for hairdressers and cosmetologists in the District of Columbia in 2013, the most recent year for which they are available, was $35,000. This is just an average across all the different areas of cosmetology and hairdressing, however. With a specialty skill such as permanent makeup, you may be able to command a premium fee for your services. The projected rate of growth for hairdressers and cosmetologists is estimated at between 8% and 14% between 2012 and 2022, making this a good field to go into if you are just starting out or seek to move up in the profession.

Working as a Permanent Makeup Artist

There are actually several different career paths you may choose to take once you are licensed with a specialty in permanent makeup. Most professionals work with individual clients in spas and beauty salons, applying permanent eye and lip lines, and enhancing eyebrows, in a private area of the salon. Medical professionals may offer permanent cosmetic services in their offices or in a hospital setting. These individuals may utilize permanent makeup to disguise scars or cover white spots due to illness or injury, or may perform aereola restorations on breast surgery patients. Some tattoo salons offer permanent makeup services to their clients. In all these situations, the application of permanent makeup is done with individual clients, meaning you will have some scheduling flexibility, although you will need to be sensitive to the scheduling needs of your clients and may have to work some weekends and evening. It is possible to work either part or full time, and this career path can be great for someone with family or other obligations that need to be met in addition to work. If you enjoy helping people look and feel good about themselves, and desire a career within the beauty industry, permanent makeup artistry may be a good specialty for you. It is growing in popularity and can be the source of a good income.

State board Contact Information

Washington, DC State Board of Barber Cosmetology
1100 4th Street SW
Washington, DC 20024
Board of Commission Phone Number: 202-442-4320
Fax Number: 202-698-4329
E-mail Address:

The Washington D.C. State Board of Cosmetology can help you with replacing a lost cosmetology license, updating change of name or change of address information, and acquiring out-of-state and other useful forms, as well as answer additional questions about obtaining a District of Columbia cosmetology license.

The nation’s capital is a hotbed for an array of distinctive style. Part of this
is expressed through the work of capable makeup stylists. Permanent makeup
is gaining stature in terms of treatments offered there. Those interested
gain information from these groups.

District of Columbia Board of Barber and Cosmetology
International Make-Up Association
Professional Beauty Association


Find the Beauty Schools in District of Columbia that interest you below,

Aveda Institute Washington DC

713 7th Street NW,
Washington, DC 20001

Program: Cosmetology

Hair Academy II

3705 Branch Ave,Lower Level - Iverson Mall
Hillcrest Heights, MD 20748

Program: Cosmetology

Hair Academy Cosmetology, Barber & Massage School

8435 Annapolis Road,
New Carrollton, MD 20784

Program: Cosmetology

Montgomery Beauty and Barber School

8736 Arliss Street,
Silver Spring, MD 20901

Program: Cosmetology

2019-09-17 20:07:35