A question we get all the time at The Lash Studio & Academy is “Do you have to be licensed to do lashes?” The answer 100% depends on where you live.
In Canada, there are virtually no restrictions in place, or licenses required in order to do eyelash extensions. The one exception to this is Nova Scotia.
This is in stark contrast to the USA, where it is illegal to do eyelash extensions in the vast majority of states without a Cosmetology, Esthetician, Barber, or Lash Specialty License.
We’ve compiled a list of all 50 states, 13 provinces/territories, their license requirements, and links for more information below.
State requirements for eyelash extensions (in alphabetical order)
As mentioned earlier, licensing requirements for eyelash extensions vary depending on the state you live in. It’s critical that you familiarize yourself with your state’s regulations to ensure you’re operating within the legal framework. Here’s an overview of the most common licensing requirements in the USA.
Cosmetology or Esthetician license: Most states require a cosmetology or esthetician license to legally perform eyelash extension services. This typically involves completing a state-approved training program and passing a licensing exam.
Specialty licenses: Some states, such as Texas, offer a specific eyelash extension specialty license for those solely focusing on lash services. These specialty licenses may require a different set of training hours and exams.
No specific license required: A few states. like Indiana or Maryland, do not have specific licensing requirements for eyelash extensions. However, it’s always best to consult with your state’s board for the most up-to-date regulations and to ensure you’re operating legally.
Do You Have To Be Licensed To Do Lashes in Canada?
The licensing requirements for eyelash extensions between Canada and the United States are quite drastic. In Canada, there are no federal regulations in place, and with the exception of Nova Scotia, there are no provincial regulations either.
To find the licensing requirements for your province, visit the website of your provincial regulatory body or contact a local lash extension training program for guidance.
Understanding Lash Extension Licenses vs Certifications
As we’ve discussed throughout this article, the world of eyelash extension licensing and certification can be complex and sometimes confusing. To provide further clarity, here are some of the differences between licenses and certifications, and why understanding these distinctions is essential for aspiring lash artists.
Lash Extension Licenses
A license is a legal authorization issued by a state or provincial board that permits you to perform specific services within the beauty industry, such as eyelash extensions. This means that without the proper license, you may not be legally allowed to offer eyelash extension services in your state or province.
To obtain a license, you typically need to complete a state- or province-approved training program and pass a licensing exam. The requirements vary depending on your location, and as we’ve discussed earlier, you may need a cosmetology, esthetician, or specialty license to perform lash services legally.
Lash Extension Certifications
A certification, on the other hand, is an acknowledgment or credential from a training program or organization, that demonstrates your competency in a specific skill, like lash extensions.
Certifications can help establish your credibility, showcase your expertise, and give clients confidence in your skills.
This is why many lash artists choose to pursue certifications through reputable training programs. Certifications help hone their skills and stay up-to-date with the latest industry techniques and trends. It’s important to note that while certifications can enhance your professional reputation, they may not replace the need for a state- or province-required license.
The Importance of Both Licenses and Certifications
Ultimately, both licenses and certifications are crucial components of a successful lash artist’s professional journey. A license allows you to operate legally within your region, while certifications help you build a strong foundation of skills, knowledge, and expertise. By obtaining the necessary licenses and pursuing certifications from reputable sources, you’re positioning yourself for long-term success in the eyelash extension industry.
Obtaining the proper licensing and certification is essential for any aspiring or experienced lash artist. Not only does having the appropriate qualifications ensure you’re operating within the legal framework of your state or province, but it also helps establish trust and credibility with your clients.
By investing in quality training and obtaining the necessary licenses and certifications, you’re demonstrating your commitment to providing the highest level of service and care to your clients. In a competitive industry like eyelash extensions, being a well-trained, skilled, and licensed professional sets you apart and helps you build a successful and thriving career.
Always prioritize understanding and adhering to your local licensing requirements, and never underestimate the value of continuous education and skill development in the ever-evolving world of eyelash extensions. Your dedication to mastering your craft will not only benefit your clients but also contribute to the overall success and growth of your lash business.