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  • Writer's pictureJoe Lyons

Ohio House Passes Bill to Modernize Cosmetology and Barber Licensing

COLUMBUS –The Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 158, joint sponsored by State Reps. Bill Roemer (R-Richfield) and Melanie Miller (R- City of Ashland). The legislation, which received unanimous support, updates Cosmetology and Barber Board statutes.


The House accepted the following changes from the Senate: 


  • Amends Senate Bill 89, the Cosmetology Licensure Compact, into the bill.

  • Specifies that the minimum passing score for the barber examination specified in rules adopted by the Board under the bill cannot exceed 75%

  • Permits the Secretary of State to appoint and commission police officers for hospitals operated by public hospital agencies or nonprofit hospital agencies, to for-profit hospitals that, before converting to for-profit status, were operated by nonprofit hospital agencies already employing police officers appointed and commissioned by the Secretary of State.


“The updates included in House Bill 158 will reduce barriers for students getting their barbering and cosmetology licenses,” said Roemer. “These changes will lead to better opportunities for barbers, cosmetologists, customers and businesses.”


The Cosmetology and Barber Board was consolidated from two separate boards in 2017, but the law was not adequately adjusted to account for this merger.


“Since the State Boards of Cosmetology and Barbering were combined into one board in 2017, we have seen the need to harmonize the sections of the Ohio Revised Code on Cosmetology and Barbering to match,” said Miller. “I am confident that these and other changes that update our code will serve to encourage the Barber and Cosmetology industry to grow and thrive in Ohio.”


Key provisions of the bill include:


  • Creating a unified barbering/cosmetology school license, to eliminate duplicative applications for facilities that teach both cosmetology and barbering.

  • Enhancing license reciprocity from other states.

  • Reducing fines for disciplinary actions.

  • Establishing temporary pre-examination work permits for barbers.

  • Lowering the age to apply for a barber license or to start barbering school to 16 years of age

  • Eliminating a requirement that a barber student complete 200 additional hours of training before re-taking the licensing exam.

  • Preventing the board from charging interest or penalty fees for unpaid fines.

  • Creating an independent contractor license, eliminating “shop within a shop” licenses

  • Creating a process to designate a license as “inactive.”

  • Allowing the board to independently set the passing score for the barber exam, rather than keeping it in statute.


The legislation does not change the current training hour requirements for initial licensure.


House Bill 158 awaits Governor DeWine’s signature.


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