Rhode Island Licensing Overview for a Cosmetologist

Licensing for cosmetologist in Rhode Island is controlled by the State of Rhode Island Department of Health – Board of Barbering & Hairdressing.

General Guidelines for a Cosmetologist in Rhode Island

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?

Cosmetologist

General requirements for cosmetologist license required?

At least 18 years old; of good moral character; U.S. citizen / legal entry; High school education or equivalent

What’s the state licensing site for cosmetologist?

State of Rhode Island Department of Health – Board of Barbering & Hairdressing

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?

Renew every 2 years by Sept. 30, on an odd-even year basis

What are fees associated with licensing?

$67

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 Rhode Island. These include:

  1. The successful completion of a cosmetology / esthetician course
  2. Submission of an application of intent with the Rhode Island Board of Hairdressing and Barbering
  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.

Education

There are basic educational requirements needed before one can become a licensed cosmetologist and/or esthetician in the state of Rhode Island. The minimum education requirement for this profession is a certificate or diploma in cosmetology / esthetician undertaken at a registered beauty school. To successfully complete this course, students are required to undertake a minimum of 1000 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 Rhode Island, students are required to undertake 600 hours of coursework at a registered school of estheticians.  

Rhode Island does not currently offer cosmetology or esthetician apprenticeships as a career pathway.

Application for licensure

Upon the successful completion of a cosmetology / esthetician course or an apprenticeship, students within the state of Rhode Island are required to submit an application for licensure. This license application must be submitted to Rhode Island Board of Hairdressing and Barbering for both a cosmetology license and an esthetician license. The cost of this application is $25.  

Licensing Exam

The state of Rhode Island requires students who wish to become fully licensed as either a cosmetologist or an esthetician to successfully pass a licensing exam. Rhode Island uses the National Cosmetology Examination through the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) as their written examination. This exam consists of two parts: a theoretical exam, and a practical exam. 

The theoretical exam questions will cover a range of areas that are specific to the course content relevant to your field of study. It typically takes around 90 minutes to complete the written exam.

Read on to see some sample theoretical questions for the cosmetologist exam.

Which of the following refers to the deepest layer of the epidermis?

  1. Stratum spinosum
  2. Stratum granulosum
  3. Stratum germinativum
  4. Stratum lucidum

As hair cells grow, what is the process that they go through to reach full development?

  1. Eumelanin
  2. COHNS
  3. Keratin
  4. Keratinization

How may cranial bones do humans have?

  1. 10
  2. 8
  3. 9
  4. 7

Which of the following will not affect the rate of growth of a nail?

  1. Prenatal vitamins
  2. Exercise
  3. Diet
  4. General health

Read on to see some sample theoretical questions for the esthetician exam.

What is one of the principal functions of the skeletal system?

  1. It protects dendrites
  2. It aids in the metabolic process
  3. It produces red and white blood cells
  4. It produces calcium

Which of the following substances do the sebaceous glands utilize to lubricate the skin?

  1. Lymph
  2. Ascorbic acid
  3. Uric acid
  4. Lipids

Quats, or quaternary ammonium compounds are used by estheticians because…

  1. They are odorless
  2. They don’t soften plastic bottles
  3. They kill bacterial spores
  4. They disinfect tools quickly

What are actinic keratoses?

  1. Rough skin patches
  2. Hives
  3. Shingles
  4. Atopic dermatitis

The cosmetology practical exam requires professionals to bring their own equipment. The practical exam will typically look at a range of areas of the profession including (but not limited to):

  • Maintaining a safe work environment
  • Hair set up
  • Hair removal
  • Hair cutting
  • Hair coloring  

The esthetician practical exam requires professionals to bring their own equipment. The practical exam will typically look at a range of areas of the profession including (but not limited to):

  • Hygienic set up
  • Facial cleansing
  • Hair removal
  • Makeup application
  • Facial mask

Continuing 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 every two years on October 30th for cosmetologists and September 30th for estheticians. This process is simple and can be done online through the Rhode Island Board of Hairdressing and Barbering

In the state of Rhode Island, there are no continuing 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.

Location(s):

Rhode Island