Master Barber Regulatory Changes

Master Barber Regulatory Changes

On April 1, 2019, the Board for Barbers and Cosmetology regulations changed to incorporate the master barber license. The changes to the regulations fall into three categories: 

Required Hours of Training

  • The barber license requires 1,100 hours of school training, or completion of a 2,000-hour registered apprenticeship.
  • The master barber license requires an additional 400 hours of school training. The Board is working with the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) to finalize a master barber apprenticeship and will provide more information at a later date. Master barbers are eligible for temporary permits just like other license types.
  • Individuals may complete the dual barber/master barber program in an approved barber school. This program requires 1,500 hours of training and allows the individual to apply directly for the master barber license. 
  • Cosmetologists with two years of experience may apply for the master barber exam.
  • Master barbers with two years of experience may apply for the cosmetology exam. 

Instructor Certificates

  • The Board is sending all instructors a new license reflecting whether they are a barber or master barber with an instructor certificate.
  • With the instructor certificate, barbers can teach at the level of their underlying barber license. 
    • Barbers with an instructor certificate can teach barbering.
    • Master barbers with an instructor certificate can teach both barbering and master barbering. 
  • As part of this change, all instructors’ license numbers will be updated to their original barber license number, which starts with 1301.

Barber School Curriculum

Barber schools may now offer three barber programs: a 1,100-hour barber program, a 400-hour master barber program, and a 1,500-hour dual barber/master barber program.

1,100-Hour Barber Program
  • Most barber schools have already transitioned to the 1,100-hour program.
  • Barber schools that have not applied for the 1,100-hour program will have to apply with the Board before they can teach any other barber programs.


400-Hour Master Barber Program
  • The 400-hour program consists of the “advanced” curriculum items that had to be removed from the barber curriculum in 2017: styling the hair with a hand dryer, thermal waving, permanent waving with chemicals, relaxing the hair, lightening or toning the hair, hairpieces and wigs, and waxing.
  • Individuals who completed the 1,100-hour barber program can complete this training to be eligible for the master barber license. 


1,500-Hour Dual Barber/Master Barber Program
  • The 1,500-hour dual program covers all topics under barbering and master barbering. Students who complete the 1,500-hour program will be able to become master barbers after passing the examinations.
  • Schools can add the 400-hour and 1,500-programs by applying with the Board.



Guidance Document

The Board issued a proposed guidance document for barber schools that were previously approved to teach the 1,500-hour program prior to March 1, 2018, allowing them to have the 1,500-hour program reinstated as a dual barber/master barber program. 

The Board will receive comments on this guidance document from April 15 to May 15You can offer comments on that guidance document here

Schools interested in reinstating their 1,500-hour program should contact the Board after May 15th.