Minnesota regulates cosmetics to protect public health and safety, but some of the state`s requirements may be unnecessary. In 2020, lawmakers began allowing practitioners to offer regulated makeup and hairstyling services outside of a licensed salon without a license or approval if they take a four-hour course on health, safety, infection control, and state cosmetic laws. BCE has no effective means of enforcing this requirement. Parliament should require practitioners who have completed the course to register with BCE and BCE should review a sample of these registrations. BCE should also publish these recordings on its website so that the public knows who is qualified to provide such services. State law provides a special procedure for veterans and military family members to transfer their cosmetic licenses to Minnesota. However, these practitioners are subject to stricter requirements than other practitioners who wish to transfer their licenses to Minnesota. Parliament and BCE should amend the requirements imposed on these practitioners to make the process fairer for them. The salon must comply with building codes, fire safety regulations, and applicable zoning regulations established by local zoning and building officials and the state fire marshal. The Board of Cosmetologist Examiners (“BCE” or “Board of Cosmetology”) regulates cosmetics in Minnesota to protect public health. The practice of cosmetology includes services related to cosmetic care of hair, skin and nails. Cosmetic services are regulated only if they are provided for remuneration.

Under Minnesota`s complex cosmetic licensing structure, some practitioners and institutions must hold multiple licenses. In a letter dated May 19, 2021, the Chair and CEO of the Cosmetology Board of Directors stated that the Board is open to changes that the Office recommends to the licensing structure. In the letter, they said the council recommends that lawmakers establish an advisory committee to facilitate the development of such changes. They also said the board supported the OLA`s recommendation that lawmakers only allow one type of salon license. In addition, the Executive Director of the Board of Barber Examiners stated in a letter dated 20. May 2021 that he and the Chair of the Board of Directors support the OLA recommendation that the legislator authorize reciprocity between cosmetic products and hairdressing products and clarify the fields of activity of beauticians and hairdressers. In addition, representatives of the cosmetics and hairdressing associations stated in their letters that they did not support the amalgamation of the councils. Today, beauticians and hairdressers can dye, whiten, wavy, straighten and cut hair. Some regulators and practitioners believe that only hairdressers are allowed to shave their beards and only cosmetologists are allowed to perform waxing. However, these distinctions are not supported by the current legislation. If the legislator intended these services to fall exclusively within one or the other activity, then it should clarify its intentions by law. As cosmetics and hairdressing have been regulated by two different bodies for most of their history, inconsistent regulatory requirements and practices have emerged in these two closely related professions.

For example, in certain circumstances, cosmetologists may offer services outside of a licensed establishment for a fee; Hairdressers are not allowed. Cosmetology practitioners must undergo regular training; Hairdressers are not subject to similar requirements. In 2016, BCE updated its rules and made physical and infection control requirements the same for all types of salons. In 2018, BCE began issuing a single type of salon licence instead of separate licences for beauty salons, nail salons and beauty salons. The board consists of six registered beauticians and one member of the public. In fiscal 2020, BCE had 31 employees responsible for issuing permits, inspecting cosmetic facilities and taking enforcement action. This evaluation examined BCE`s licensing structure, requirements and processes. In the absence of national standards, we compared Minnesota`s licensing requirements with those of other states. While Minnesota`s licensing standards in 2017 were comparable to national averages and those of neighboring states, they were not identical. For example, Iowa and South Dakota required 2,100 hours of training to obtain a cosmetologist license, compared to 1,550 hours for Minnesota. State law requires cosmetologists to be licensed. In most cases, practitioners are only allowed to provide services in licensed facilities.

In 2020, BCE supervised approximately 32,900 licensed practitioners and 5,350 licensed institutions (including 5,312 salons and 38 schools). Despite significant overlap in their training, state law does not provide for reciprocity between cosmetic qualifications (issued by BCE) and hairdressing certificates (issued by the Board of Barber Examiners). This means that, for example, a cosmetologist would have to meet all the requirements for a hairdresser to become a hairdresser and vice versa, although both are trained in areas such as anatomy, dermatology, chemistry and infection control.