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North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners
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How to become licensed as a natural hair care stylist

Natural Hair Care Information Update (updated 5/2/2018)


After July 1, 2015 any unlicensed individual must graduate from a licensed Cosmetic Arts natural hair care school, pass examination and pay for licensure.

So much confusion still surrounds what services a natural hair care specialist can perform.  Perhaps most of this comes from the licensure name as it should have been called a “Braiding License”.  The natural hair care license allows licensees to provide a service that results in tension on hair strands or roots by twisting, wrapping, extending, or locking hair. 

It does not matter if the natural hair has been treated with a chemical service in the past, natural hair care specialists can perform the services as defined by statute.  Many of the services provided need tools to complete the specific service, such as comb, brush, sewing needle, rollers etc.  These may be used tools are to complete the service.  Example:  The service is a twist and the licensee uses a roller at the ends of the hair to complete the twist.  However, performing a roller set as a service is not acceptable as No tension is left on the hair strand once the roller is removed.  Roller sets are “styling” the hair which falls under the scope of practice of a cosmetologist.

Natural hair care specialists can attach artificial hair by wrapping, braiding, weaving and sewing but not by chemical adhesive.  Natural hair care specialists can also CUT extra artificial hair off but may not provide a haircut. 

The scope of practice for a natural hair care specialist is different forms of braiding, corn rows, locks, knots, twist, blow dry, thermal style and a track and sew method for a weft hair.  These are the only services natural hair care specialists can perform, all other cosmetology services must be performed by a cosmetologist. Unlicensed individuals can shampoo hair.  Any questions about natural hair care can be sent to lelliott@nccosmeticarts.com.    

How to license a natural hair care styling shop (for shops not operating prior to July 1, 2010)

Fill out the Salon License Application and pay the license fee to the NC Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners 1207 Front Street Suite 110 Raleigh, NC 27609. Inspection to follow for approval, licensure subject to Board rules and regulations. Additional information

How to license a natural hair care styling school
Fill out the School License Application, Guarantee Bond/alternative and submit to the NC Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners 1207 Front Street Suite 110 Raleigh, NC 27609. Review of application, payment of fees and inspection to follow for approval, licensure subject to Board rules and regulations. Additional information

Natural Hair Care Specialists will need continuing education as of the 2016 renewal. 

Cosmetic Art licensees, including Natural Hair Care Specialists must be aware of all Board rules and regulations.