Hawaii Licensing Overview for a Cosmetologist

Licensing for cosmetologist in Hawaii is controlled by the Hawaii Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

General Guidelines for a Cosmetologist in Hawaii

Specific requirements to perform cosmetologist services can generally be used as a guideline, but make sure to check with your local governing rules and regulations.

Who’s allowed to perform these services?


General requirements for cosmetologist license required?

At least 16 years old; High school education or equivalent

What’s the state licensing site for cosmetologist?

Hawaii Board of Barbering and Cosmetology

What are some training programs available for cosmetologist?

See training programs

How long is a license good for and when do I need to renew?

Renews by March 31 of odd-numbered years

What are fees associated with licensing?


Cosmetologist / Esthetician Licensing

A cosmetologist is a beauty professional who specializes in the beautification and health of their client’s hair, skin and nails. An esthetician is a beauty professional that specializes in the beautification and health of their client’s skin, particularly through hair removal, skin and facial treatments and the application of makeup. With additional training, a cosmetologist can become an esthetician and vice versa. While there are fundamental differences between cosmetologists and estheticians as we have just explained, the process of becoming licensed within each career is almost the same. With this being said, the process of being a fully licensed cosmetologist and/or esthetician varies between each state.

The following pages look at the detailed information on individual state licensing to help give you the best advice as you move forward in your career path.

There are four main steps that need to be completed to become a qualified cosmetologist / esthetician in the state of Hawaii. These include:

  1. The successful completion of a cosmetology / esthetician course
  2. Submission of an application of intent with the Hawaii Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
  3. Successfully undergo state testing and pass the minimum requirements of each test
  4. Maintain your knowledge base through regular education to keep your cosmetologist / esthetician license current.


There are basic educational requirements needed before one can become a licenced cosmetologist and/or esthetician in the state of Hawaii. The minimum education requirement for this profession is a certificate or diploma in cosmetology / esthetician undertaken at a registered beauty school or through vocational training. To successfully complete this course, students must have completed their high school certificate and be at least 16 years old. If these pre-requisites are met, students are then required to undertake a minimum of 1800 hours of training before they can be signed off. For further training, some beauticians may choose to gain an associate degree to boost their qualifications. For those looking to begin their own start up business, an associate degree is quite a desirable skill to possess. To become an esthetician in Hawaii, students need to complete 600 registered hours at a registered school of estheticians.

Another popular method in which to become a standard cosmetologist in the state of Hawaii is through an apprenticeship. To gain an apprenticeship, a student must be over the age of 16 years and have successfully completed high school. For those wishing to undertake an apprenticeship instead of attending a registered beauty school, they will need to be accepted under the charge of a licensed cosmetologist and complete 3600 supervised hours within the field. An apprentice esthetician must complete 1200 supervised hours and has the same prerequisites as those of the cosmetology apprenticeship.

Application for licensure

Upon the successful completion of a cosmetology / esthetician course or an apprenticeship, students within the state of Hawaii are required to submit an application for licensure. Hawaii offers its cosmetology professionals two application choices. The first is a temporary licence which allows those who have successfully completed their qualifications to gain employment under the supervision of a qualified, licensed cosmetologist. This permit remains active for approximately three years, allowing cosmetologists to work legally whilst waiting to undergo their examinations. 

The second licence is the beauty operator application, which must be completed and returned to the Hawaii Board of Barbering and Cosmetology along with all schooling transcripts, the examination application, a fee of $20 and an optional $40 permit fee. 

Estheticians are also required to submit a beauty operator application along with along with all schooling transcripts, the examination application, a fee of $20 and an optional $40 temporary permit. 

Licensing Exam

The state of Hawaii requires students who wish to become fully licensed as either a cosmetologist or an esthetician to successfully pass a licensing exam. Hawaii’s uses Prometric examinations. 

The cosmetology exam is theoretical, consists of 100 questions and lasts for two hours. This exam costs $90. The topics covered include, but are not limited to:

  • Ethics
  • Infection control
  • Anatomy of the hair, nail, and skin
  • Physical services
  • Chemical services
  • State laws and regulations

The esthetician exam is theoretical and covers topics such as:

  • Ethics
  • Client protection
  • Consultation processes
  • State laws and regulations
  • Infection control
  • Bacteriology
  • Skin analysis
  • Circulatory systems
  • Hair cycles
  • Nutrition 
  • Product knowledge
  • Facials 
  • Makeup 
  • Hair removal

Ongoing education

Following the successful completion of your state license to become either a cosmetology or an esthetician, it is important to remember that you must renew this license before December 31st every two years on odd-numbered years. This process is simple and can be done online through the Professional Vocational Licensing Board (MyPVL) along with the necessary fee.

In the state of Hawaii, there are no ongoing educational requirements for cosmetology or esthetician licenses, however, many professionals continue to grow their expertise. This allows them to stay up to date with the latest techniques and trends in the field of beauty.