Natural Hair Styling

The practice of "natural hair styling" means providing for a fee, or any consideration or exchange, whether direct or indirect, any of the following services to the hair of a human being: shampooing, arranging, dressing, twisting, wrapping, weaving, extending, locking or braiding the hair or beard by either hand or mechanical appliances. Such practice shall not include cutting, shaving or trimming hair except that such activities are permissible to the extent that such activities are incidental to the practice of natural hair styling. Such practice shall not include the application of dyes, reactive chemicals, or other preparations to alter the color or to straighten, curl, or alter the structure of the hair. Techniques which result in tension on hair roots such as certain types of braiding, weaving, wrapping, locking and extending of the hair may only be performed by a natural hair styling or cosmetology licensee who has successfully completed an approved course of study in such techniques. It is the responsibility of licensees to understand the Appearance Enhancement Law. (pdf)

License Requirements

Fees and terms of licensure

Forms: (all forms are Adobe PDF Format)

Examination Information:

Examination Scheduling Policy

Written Exam:

Appearance Enhancement Written Examination Procedures

Written Examination Sites

Practical Exam:
Appearance Enhancement and Barber E-Licensing System Update

Applicant User Guide for the License Center (doc)


License Center Amendments Guide (doc)


NYS Appearance Enhancement Advisory Committee

Natural Hair Styling Endorsment Under a policy of endorsement, a state with higher educational requirements can accept licensees from a state with lesser standards by mandating experience to make up for the education deficiencies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about the NYS License Center


LICENSE LAW —  pdf It is the responsibility of licensees to understand the Appearance Enhancement License Law. For instance, owners of an appearance enhancement shop shall conspicuously post a sign (pdf) at the entrance of the business indicating that the business and individual operators are licensed by the New York State Department of State and that rules and regulations governing the business and practices are available for review upon request.