nebraska beauty professionals deserve​


Not Barriers.

Nebraska requires hair artists to get 1,800 hours of training in school – regardless of what service they want to provide, their background, or if an apprenticeship would let them start earning sooner.

Cosmetology school is a BIG investment – and beauty professionals have to spend a LOT of money before they are ever allowed to earn a penny, no matter what service they want to provide.

But some other states let beauty professionals blow dry and do natural styling – no chemicals, dyes, or cutting – without first getting a cosmetology license. This has created a lot of opportunity in the industry, for both artists and salon owners.

Nebraska is considering allowing blow-dry, special-event, and natural hair styling without first having to pay for 1,800 hours of school. Would this help you?

Nebraska is tied for 2nd most burdensome cosmetology Licensing laws in the country.

And the cost of complying with those laws is entirely on you. That’s not fair.



  • Do you wish you could make money doing blow-dry or natural hair styling – without the use of chemicals or dyes – but can’t afford cosmetology school? 
  • Do you wish you could work for a salon providing limited hair styling services, to see if the beauty industry is right for you – before committing to the cost of cosmetology school?
  • Do you wish you could work for a salon while you’re in school, gaining practical experience on the floor drying and styling hair, while getting paid?

help us create opportunities for blow-dry and natural hair stylists in nebraska

Please fill out the form below if you have questions or want to support this legislation, and we will reach out with additional information about the bill.


tuition to attend cosmetology school

Aspiring beauty professionals spend, on average, $16,000 to attend state-required cosmetology school. And after spending all this money, many still have to get additional training because their school didn’t teach them what they needed to learn.

average of

borrowed to attend cosmetology school

Students often go into a lot of student loan debt to afford school.  But programs rarely graduate students on time, delaying—or even blocking—aspiring beauty professionals’ entry into the workforce, and increasing their debt burden. 


hours to attend cosmetology school

Nebraska requires 1,800 hours of cosmetology school – even if an artist only wants to blow-dry style hair.  The state is tied for second most burdensome laws in the country.

It’s not fair that beauty professionals face steeper and more costly licensing requirements than many other fields, including those directly linked to health and safety.


Chefs prepare food that is ingested by customers and aren’t required to get a license or go to school. They take a short, simple sanitation course, and the restaurant is subject to inspections. It’s up to the chef whether they want to go to culinary school.  


In Nebraska, EMTs – who administer life-saving aid -have to get 150 hours of training to get a license to work. Compare that to 1,800 for beauty.


Personal trainers aren’t required to have a license. Tattooing is arguably riskier and more invasive than what cosmetologists do, but Nebraska only requires four hours of training.

While aspiring beauty professionals are in school—spending money and not making money—those in other occupations are learning on the job or practicing their crafts while earning a living from day one. That’s not fair.
Beauty, Not Barriers is an initiative of the nonprofit institute for justice, dedicated to uplifting the beauty industry by breaking down barriers that force far too many beauty artists into debt, out of work, or unable to hire. 
Beauty professionals deserve flexibility and options, like so many other occupations enjoy—not a one-size-fits-all approach that demands 1,800 hours of expensive training, regardless of one’s interests, goals, or background.

Beauty professionals deserve more options and flexibility.

Not everyone wants to use chemicals or engage in all the cosmetology skills: some beauty professionals only want to provide narrow services, like blow-dry or natural hair styling.  

  • They may only want to do makeup artistry or special event hairstyling.
  • They may have brought an artistic skillset from another country, like threading or braiding. 
  • They could be single parents, caregivers, military spouses, or of modest means and can’t afford the time or cost of school. The expensive licensing system keeps them from pursuing their dreams or dealing with debt.  
  • And there may be others who want to work in a salon just doing shampooing or blow-drying, but can’t because they are required to get a license.  This can keep out those with disabilities, recent immigrants with language barriers, and other vulnerable groups who may have a difficult time finding work.
We believe that beauty professionals deserve better.

learn More

The Institute for Justice is a non-profit organization that works alongside beauty professionals and other workers nationwide to change laws that make it hard to earn a living.  So often, state laws require way too much to work in an occupation—like expensive training that can teach things that are not necessary.  

  • There are better, affordable, less challenging alternatives to these kinds of laws.
  • The alternatives would make it easier for existing and aspiring beauty professionals alike to work in the industry.  
  • We support beauty, opportunity, entrepreneurship, professionalism, and safety.  We are against barriers.