Ever wondered what the difference between a licensed cosmetologist and barber are in the state of Florida? The differences are important to know if you are considering hiring a barber for your salon, or a cosmetologist in your barbershop.
Can they color, use a straight razor, or do nails? Or who you should contact if you are opening a trendy barbershop in Winter Park or a specialty nail salon in Naples? Both professions share many common traits, but each is truly unique.
Here are 5 differences between the professions in Florida.
1) Different Regulatory Boards and Rules
More and more states are combining their Barber and Cosmetology boards into one board. This is not true in Florida. In the state of Florida, Cosmetologists and Barbers are governed by two separate boards that are under the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Each board has its own board members, rules, and regulations. Cosmetologists are governed by the Florida Cosmetology Board and Barbers are governed by the Florida Barbers’ Board.
Both board websites can be found under the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at MyFloridaLicense.com under Business and Professions tab and then by scrolling down to each board.
Each Board can be contacted by mail at:Division of Professions
(Name of Board you are contacting)
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0791
So when you apply for a license, make sure you apply to the correct board.
The Cosmetology Board issues licenses and registrations for the following:
- Nail Specialists
- Facial Specialists
- Full Specialists
- Other Registrants
- Body Wrappers
- Hair Braiders
- Hair Wrappers
- Salon licenses
The Barbers’ Board issues licenses for the following:
- Restricted Barbers
- Barber Assistant
- Barbershop licenses
2) Different Licensing Exams
Oddly enough both professionals have the same minimum training hour requirement.
To be eligible for a cosmetology or barber license in Florida, a person must complete a minimum of 1200 hours at either a Florida School of Cosmetology or a Florida School for Barbering.
After completing education, submitting a completed application to the appropriate board, the applicant will be contacted to schedule a time to take the written exam at a Pearson VUE location. Both Barbers and Cosmetologists have written exams, although different content.
3) Differences Between Cosmetologists and Barbers in Practice
A licensed cosmetologist is a jack-of-all-trades. They can perform all hair and facial services, including waxing and nails. A licensed cosmetologist does not have to have a separate registration to do facials, hair braiding, hair wrapping, body wrapping, or nails.
A licensed cosmetologist cannot perform any shaving of the face.
A licensed barber can perform all hair services, including color and permanent waving. They can also perform facials, including shaving of the face with a straight razor. This skill alone is the reason you see many cosmetologists return to school and attend barber crossover courses in order to obtain barber’s license.
Licensed barbers cannot do any waxing or nail services.
A licensed restricted barber cannot do any chemical services.
A barber assistant can only provide shampooing and applying tonics or conditioners to the hair.
Can someone be a licensed barber and a cosmetologist in Florida?
Yes! A person can be both a licensed barber and cosmetologist. They would have to have their hours of education assessed by a Florida Barber or cosmetology school to determine what is needed for the requirements of the license that they wish to obtain.
Some schools have special crossover courses for cosmetologists that also want a barber’s license. The school would then need to sign off on the application for licensure.
4) Barbershops vs. Cosmetology Salons
A Barbershop is a place of business where the practice of barbering occurs.
A Salon is a place of business where cosmetology services are offered for compensation.
The practice of cosmetology in a licensed barbershop is allowed, provided the barbershop employs a licensed barber.
The practice of barbering in a licensed cosmetology salon is allowed, provided the salon employs a licensed cosmetologist.
Only one business license can be issued for a single location, meaning a business cannot be both a licensed barbershop and a salon in one business location.
Again, to apply for a Barbershop license, see the Barbers’ board page.
To apply for a Salon license (including a nail or specialty salon), see the Cosmetology board page.
5) Renewal Requirements for Each type of License
The Board of Cosmetology requires all cosmetologists, facial specialists, nail specialists, and full specialists to complete 16 hours of Cosmetology board-approved continuing education prior to the license/registration renewal. There are specific courses that are required:
- 3 hours of Sanitation and Sterilization
- 2 hours of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases
- 2 hours of Florida and Federal Laws and Rules
- 2 hours of Chemical Makeup related to the Hair, Skin, and Nails
- 1 hour of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations
- 1 hour of issues of Workers’ Compensation related to Florida law
- 1 hour of Environmental Issues
- 4 hours of Continuing Education Electives
For hair braiders, hair wrappers and body wrappers, must complete a cosmetology board-approved HIV/AIDS course each renewal cycle. It must be two (2) hours long.
Cosmetology licenses and Registration expire October 31st every other year (depending on which group the licensee/registrant belongs).
Salon licenses expire November 30th of even years.
Barbers and restricted barbers must complete a minimum of a 2-hour Barber board-approved HIV/AIDS continuing education course each renewal cycle. This is the only course required for renewal. Barber Assistants do not need any continuing education for license renewal.
All Barber licenses expire July 31st of even years.
Barbershop licenses expire November 30th of even years.
Do you have a question not answered here, or still confused on certain differences between the two license types? Leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to find an answer for you.