Arkansas Proposes New Cosmetology Rules

The Arkansas Department of Health (the Department) is proposing numerous revisions to the “Rules for Cosmetology in Arkansas.” ASCP, AHP, and ANP have summarized the changes below. View a copy of the proposed revisions here.

If you would like to comment on the proposed revisions, email Cosmetology and Massage Therapy Section Chief Kelli Kersey at no later than August 27, 2020. The Arkansas Department of Health is also holding a public hearing on Thursday, August 27, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. where they are allowing public commentary. The meeting will be held at:

Freeway Medical Tower
5800 W. 10th Street, Room 906
Little Rock, AR 72204

Rule No. 1: Cosmetology Section

The proposed rules amend the fee schedule to include the language “not to exceed $65” when discussing examination fees. No exam will cost more than $65. The revised schedule proposes lower fees for multiple license categories, including:

  • One-time license reciprocity fee: $50 (currently $150)
  • One-time new establishment or mobile salon fee: $100 (currently $150)
  • Annual establishment or mobile salon fee: $50 (currently $100)
  • One-time establishment relocation fee: $50 (currently $150)
  • One-time new school of cosmetology fee: $100 (currently $150)
  • One-time change of name and/or school ownership fee: $100 (currently $500)
  • Change of name and/or ownership of an establishment or mobile salon fee: $25 (currently $75)
  • Duplicate license fee: $10 (currently $25)
  • Certification of Department records fee: $10 (currently $50)

Rule No. 2: Definitions

  • Domestic violence and sexual assault awareness training: a one-hour training course in domestic violence and sexual assault awareness incorporated into cosmetology curriculum and its branches.
  • Mobile salon: a self-contained, enclosed unit that is at least 24 inches long and may be transported from one location to another, but has a base location at the home, salon, or office of the owner. A mobile salon is licensed as a cosmetology establishment for the practice of a branch or a combination of branches of cosmetology.
  • Revocation: an official cancellation one of the following licenses: practitioner, establishment, mobile salon, school of cosmetology, or postsecondary school of cosmetology.

Rule No. 3: Requirements for Cosmetology and Related Occupations

The proposed revisions would require institutions that teach both secondary and postsecondary students to obtain a license both for a school of cosmetology and for a postsecondary school of cosmetology.

Rule No. 4: Examinations

Schools of cosmetology or postsecondary schools of cosmetology would be required to administer the Arkansas practical licensing examination developed by the Department and use the official grading, scoring, and rating document.

The proposed revisions would require schools to develop an exam supply list to distribute to each candidate, indicating the implements and equipment necessary to perform each phase of the exam. Every candidate will be required to bring a kit or carrying case containing all the items on the supply list. Schools would determine the allotted time for the exam.

The proposed rules would allow students who are currently enrolled and who have received partial training to challenge the exam if the school submits an early testing examination form.

Rule No. 5: Reciprocity and Military Licensure

The proposed rules elaborate on the reciprocity requirements for out-of-state applicants. View the reciprocity and temporary licensure process on page 12 of the linked document.

The proposed rules add a section for active duty military personnel, veterans, and their spouses. Upon receipt of a completed application, initial licensure fee, and evidence of a substantially equivalent license in another state, the following individuals may receive automatic licensure to practice cosmetology: active duty military personnel stationed in the state of Arkansas, returning military veterans applying within one year of their discharge from active duty, or a spouse of an active duty military personnel or veteran.

Rule No. 6: Requirements for Schools of Cosmetology, Postsecondary Schools of Cosmetology, Establishments, and Mobile Salons

Under the proposed revisions, the Department’s authorized representatives have access to the property of any mobile salon during the mobile salon’s hours of operation. A Department representative may contact a mobile salon owner to schedule an inspection at any time to ensure regulation compliance.

A copy of the most recent inspection sheet, the online complaint website, and the phone number for the Arkansas Department of Health Cosmetology and Massage Therapy Section must be posted in a visible place in the reception area, the individual work stations, or in the clinic area.

The subsections regarding plumbing, drinking water, floor construction, and carpet have been removed.

Rule No. 7: Cosmetology Establishments and Mobile Salons Certificate of Registration and Licensure

The revised rules propose issuing a license, rather than a letter of authorization, to those who open a cosmetology establishment or mobile salon.

Rule No. 8: School of Cosmetology and Postsecondary School of Cosmetology Requirements

Various rule changes are proposed under Rule No. 8, as summarized below:

  • The proposed rules require schools to disclose to students the complaint process outlined in Rule 11 found on page 40 of the linked document.
  • No license will be issued to any new school until an inspection report of compliance is received.
  • The proposed rules add one hour of domestic violence and sexual assault training to the cosmetology, manicure, esthetic, and electrology curricula.
  • To qualify for the cosmetology exam, students must acquire a minimum of 150 hours of theoretical instruction, a decrease from the currently required 180 hours.
  • Certification of hours must be filed with the Department within 45 calendar days immediately following the termination of a student (their last day of attendance)—this is an increase from the current 30 calendar day requirement. If a certificate of training is not received within the allotted 45 days, the student will be dropped by the Department and all hours will be certified.
  • Textbook material must be completed before 1,500 hours are completed.

Rule No. 9: Instructor Training for Schools of Cosmetology or Postsecondary Schools of Cosmetology and Renewal Requirements

The proposed rules add one hour of domestic violence and sexual assault training to the instructor curriculum.

The proposed revisions largely affect renewal processes for instructors, as detailed below:

  • For biennial renewal, instructors with specialty licenses will not be required to renew the specialty license, so long as they only instruct in that specialty area. However, they may renew if they want to retain the specialty license.
  • As a prerequisite to license renewal, instructors will be required to complete eight hours of continuing education in an instructor training seminar or continuing education course.
  • A license that expires due to untimely renewal may be reinstated if the licensee pays past due renewal fees plus the late fee and completes the required continuing education requirements.
  • Continuing education hours earned from an out-of-state CE program will be accepted so long as the program is certified by the Board in that state or by a nationally recognized provider. Instructors must receive certificates of completion from such programs.
  • Newly licensed instructors will not be required to complete continuing education as a prerequisite for license renewal for the first renewal period.
  • All advanced teaching education must be generic in nature. A minimum of four of the required eight hours must be related to advanced teaching methods or techniques. Examples include curriculum development, lesson plan preparation, human resource management, etc. Courses offered at the community college or university level include psychology, sociology, methods of teaching, business law, etc.
  • Approved continuing education programs must be taught by individuals who have special education, training, and experience or by experts in the subject matter of the program.
  • Falsifying continuing education is subject to disciplinary action.

Rule No. 11: Complaint Policy

The proposed rules allow an individual to petition for a “pre-licensure determination,” which can verify whether an applicant’s criminal record will disqualify them from licensure and whether a waiver can be obtained. A pre-licensure criminal background check petition form can be requested from the Department. The Department’s decision regarding the petition will state the reason(s) for the determination, which is not subject to appeal.

Rule No. 12: Equipment and Chemical Use in Cosmetology and its Related Branches

Cosmetologists and estheticians may only pierce the ear lobe using an ear-piercing gun.