Legal Memorandum LI07


Effective January 1, 1999, a person may be licensed as a specialist in the practice of waxing (Laws of 1998, Chapter 341). This new appearance enhancement license category allows one to engage in the practice of waxing and hair removal without obtaining a cosmetologist’s or esthetician’s license. General Business Law Section 400(10) now defines the practice of waxing to encompass services to enhance the appearance of the face, neck, arms, legs, or shoulders of a human being by the removal of hair by the use of depilatories, waxes or tweezing. The practice of waxing does not include the practice of electrology.

Previously, there was no separate license category for individuals who wished to practice waxing and hair removal. This practice was included within the practice of esthetics and cosmetology. Consequently, a practitioner of waxing was required to be licensed either as an esthetician or a cosmetologist. To become licensed as an esthetician, a person must pass the appropriate examination and complete a 600-hour course of training prescribed by the Department. A cosmetologist needs 1,000 hours of education and must also pass the appropriate examination.

Under this new category of licensure, an individual interested in providing only waxing services may obtain licensure by successfully completing a 75-hour course of education and passing an examination. The Department of State will develop the course curriculum and administer the exam. Courses will be provided by various educational institutions and trade schools.

It is important to note that the amendments do not change the scope of practice of a cosmetologist or esthetician. Licensed cosmetology or esthetics practitioners may continue to provide waxing services, as well as the other services that are permitted by their licences, and new licensees under these two disciplines will continue to be schooled in waxing and hair removal, and authorized to provide such services.

For further information about appearance enhancement licenses, and to download application forms, please check the home page for the Division of Licensing Services.