State Board Exam Goes National! What This Means For You

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Starting in October, the practical portion of the cosmetology state board exam was upgraded to the national version of the exam.

The change is good news for beauty school students, who previously had to train on outdated services in order to obtain a cosmetology license. The new version is much more modern and relevant to the services that a licensed cosmetologist would be providing.

Another added benefit is mobility. Now when a graduate moves out-of-state, their exam results will be honored if they move to one of the 38 states that also administers the National State Board of Cosmetology exam.

The owner of Salon Success Academies, Bob Gross, who is a founding board member of the Professional Beauty Federation of California and also the newly appointed chairman, played a pivotal role in getting the licensing exam updated. You’ll be able to read much more about this in next week’s Beauty Buzz blog post.

Here’s a breakdown of the major changes to the practical portion of the exam:

  • Students are no longer tested on finger waving or wet hair styling.
  • Students are now tested on blow drying and curling hair with an electric iron.
  • Hair cutting is more specific. Students now have to remove 1-inch on hair (previously it was ½ inch). They also must use a razor to cut the bottom half of the hair and scissors to cut the top half of the hair, above the ears.
  • The facial portion no longer includes derma lights. It will now be a basic facial, with eyebrow waxing and tweezing.

It’s important to note that the state of California had already been using the written portion of the national exam, so there are no significant changes to that section of the exam.

If you’re a beauty school graduate who has taken the new version of the exam, we’d like to hear from you. What did you think of the new national exam? Did you find it to be difficult or easy? Are you excited about these new changes? Let us know what you think by commenting below or voting in the Beauty Buzz Poll!

You can view the instructions for the national cosmetology practical exam on the California Board of Barbering & Cosmetology website. You can also find a list of commonly asked questions and answers about the national exam on the site.  

At Salon Success Academies, instructors will be there to help you prepare for the state board exam every step of the way! Before you know it, you could be working in the beauty industry as a licensed cosmetologist. Join the Salon Success family today by calling 1-877-987-HAIR (4247).

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