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Board of Cosmetology - Natural Hair Care - Certification Information

Required Steps for Certification

To get certified in Natural Hair Care, applicants must:

  1. Meet the requirements of Oregon Administrative Rule, (OAR) Chapter 331, Division 30.
  2. Complete a Natural Hair Care Certification Application. The application can be found under the forms section below. Look for "COS Natural Hair Care Certification Application."
  3. Bring the completed application, two forms of ID (see below), proof of completing the natural hair care training module (see below), and payment for fees to the Health Licensing Office.
  4. Bring two forms of original identification issued by a government agency. Acceptable identification options can be found under OAR Chapter 331, Division 30. One form of ID must be photographic.
  5. Bring proof of having completed the natural hair care training module.
  6. Pay the application fee.
  7. Pay the examination fee.
  8. Sit for the Natural Hair Care written examination. The written examination must be passed within two years of the date of application.
  9. Once the written examination is passed, pay the certification fee.
  10. Receive certification.

Education and Training

The Natural Hair Care Training Module is solely for the purpose of giving applicants the necessary information to practice natural hair care in Oregon. The information was obtained through the Oregon Administrative Rules Chapter 817 and Oregon Revised Statues Chapter 690 for cosmetology and the Milady Standard Natural Hair Care and Braiding textbook. Topics include licensing and certification, practice standards, facility standards, chemical storage and hair characteristics.

Natural Hair Care Training Module & Certificate of Completion

Written Examination

  • Bring two forms of government ID with your current legal name. Identification is required for testing. Read identification requirements.
  • The written examination is conducted on a walk-in basis (no appointment necessary).
  • HLO office hours for testing are Monday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesday through Friday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Beginning Thursday, August 1, 2024, HLO testing times are changing. Testing days and hours will be: Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Applicants who are taking two or more fields of practice examinations should arrive as early as possible (no later than noon) to complete their examinations by our office closing time of 4 p.m. Applicants taking four fields of practice examinations should arrive and be ready to test at 9 a.m.
  • Applicants are allowed 90 minutes for each examination. Multiply that by the number of examinations the applicant needs to take to calculate how much time they will need. Applicants who do not allow enough time to complete their examinations will be asked to return on another business day.
  • Please note: If you are on parole or probation, you must provide a letter of release from your probation or parole officer authorizing you to obtain an authorization to practice. If you are on bench probation, or probation with the court, you must provide documentation of your conditions of the probation.
Natural Hair Care Examination Information Bulletin for Written Exam

Special Accommodations

Special-accommodation examinations are also available. Download and complete an HLO Accommodation Request Form to request accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Retaking a Written Examination

HLO and the Board of Cosmetology established requirements, including waiting periods and/or additional training, for applicants who fail the written examination and must retake the examination after one or more failed attempts.

Printable Examination Retake Policy

Examination Attempts: All cosmetology examinations waiting periods and additional training:
1st through 10th Failed Attempts

An applicant may retake a failed examination the next business day up to the 10th failed attempt.

After the 10th
Failed Attempt

The Board may determine qualifications before retaking the failed examination, including, but not limited to, additional hours and practical operations from a school.

*Business day =

Must fall on a non-holiday, regular HLO office business day and during regular office hours open to the public.

Building closures and state holidays.


Renewal Process

Application for certification renewal should be made in advance of the certification inactive date, which is the last day of the month two years from the date of issuance. Renewal applications are mailed to practitioners approximately six weeks prior to certification expiration courtesy of the Health Licensing Office and the Board of Cosmetology.

Renew Online

Name Changes

If you have had a legal name change, please see the list of acceptable documents to prove your current full legal name. You will need to provide this documentation to renew your certification.

Legal Name Change Update Form

Note: If a practitioner's two-year certificate goes inactive, there is a three-year window to renew by paying the current renewal fee(s) and late fee(s).

Business Authorization

All practitioners who provide services in Oregon must do so in a licensed facility, which is defined as " establishment operated on a regular or irregular basis for the purpose of providing services in one or more fields of practice."

The only exception is a practitioner who obtains a freelance authorization, which is a written authorization allowing a practitioner to practice outside of or away from a licensed facility.

The third type of cosmetology business license is an independent contractor registration. An independent contractor is defined as a practitioner "...who is not under the control and direction of a facility license holder."

Temporary facility permits allow holders to operate a facility on a temporary basis for a period not to exceed 30 consecutive calendar days.

More information

Reactivation and Reinstatement

Certification reinstatement after three years in inactive status

Practitioners whose certificate is inactive for three years or more must take and pass both the practical and written examinations (within two years of reapplication), reapply for certification and pay all application, examination and certification renewal fees.

Practitioner certification turns to inactive status if the practitioner does not renew prior to the date of certification renewal. Practitioners in inactive status who provide services to the public are in violation.

Note: Independent contractor registrations and freelance authorizations that are not renewed become dormant. These authorizations do not become inactive and do not expire. To reactivate a dormant independent contractor registration or freelance authorization, the holder must contact the Health Licensing Office.