Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon » Homepage

Board of Cosmetology - Natural Hair Care - Certification Information

Requirements for certification

To get certified in Natural Hair Care, applicants must:

  • Meet the requirements of OAR 331 division 30
  • Submit a completed application form (look for "COS Natural Hair Care Certification Application" in the forms section below)
  • Pay application fee and certificate fee
  • Submit two forms of identification
  • Submit proof of having completed the natural hair care training module
  • Complete and pass the written exam within two years before the date of application

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 examinations for all fields of practice

  • The written examinations are conducted on a walk-in basis (no appointment necessary).
  • Two forms of government ID with your current legal name are required for testing. Read identification requirements.
  • HLO office hours to begin 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.
  • 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 4:30 p.m. Applicants taking four fields of practice examinations should arrive and be ready to test at 9 a.m.
  • 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.
  • Special-accommodation examinations are also available. Complete an Accommodation Request form to request special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Examination Information Bulletin for Written Exam

Retaking a written exam

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

Natural Hair Care Retake Requirements

Printable Examination Retake Policy

Examination Attempts: Waiting Periods:
After First & Second Failed Attempts

Exam MAY be retaken the same day.

After Third & Additional Failed Attempts

Eligible to retake on or after the eighth (8th) calendar day*. Applicants are required to wait seven whole calendar days before retaking examination.

*Calendar day =

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

Application process and fees

Examination and Application: A How-to Guide


Required documentation and fees to apply for hair design certification

  • Official transcript from a licensed cosmetology career school (in-state applicants) or affidavit of licensure (out-of-state applicants)
  • Two pieces of government-issued photo identification, and Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification number View identification requirements
  • Completed application form
  • Payment of a non-refundable application fee, examination fee per field of practice, examination fee for the Oregon Laws and Rules examination and an original certificate fee for each field of practice. View Fees

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 HLO / 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 HLO.