The California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology requires 1600 hours of training for a cosmetology license and 1500 hours for a barber license. The training must be completed before one can take the state exam. The state exam consists of two tests, a written and a practical.
The written exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. Applicants are allowed two hours to complete the written exam. For the practical exam, applicants will be asked to perform procedures applicable to the license they are seeking. An application form must be submitted to the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology in order to register for the exams. Applicants will receive a test date within 8-12 weeks of submitting their application. Training is available through beauty schools and apprenticeships. All training hours must be completed prior to taking the exams. A complete list of approved beauty schools and apprenticeship sites is available on the board website barbercosmo.ca.gov. Fees and forms are also available on the site. Applicants are encouraged to establish a BreEZe account through the board website. BreEZe is an online licensing system that guides applicants through the licensing process. Applicants can register for exams, keep track of their licensing progress, and renew their licenses in the future.