oklahoma beauty professionals deserve​


Not Barriers.

Oklahoma requires hair artists to get 1,500 hours of training in a traditional cosmetology school before they are ever allowed to earn a penny – regardless of what service they want to provide, their existing skills, 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 work.

But some states let beauty professionals offer safe, narrow services like shampooing and blow-dry 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.

Oklahoma is considering changing the law so that beauty professionals can provide services not involving chemicals or cutting, like shampooing and blow-dry styling, without first having to pay for 1,500 hours of school for a full-service cosmetology license. Would this help you?

oklahoma HAIR stylists and salon owners:


  • Do you wish you could make money shampooing and doing blow-dry 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?
  • Do you wish you could hire staff dedicated to providing these niche services earlier in their careers, without having to wait for them to graduate from an expensive cosmetology program?

unlike hair stylists, Those in other industries are allowed to start learning and earning on the job from day one.  For example, chefs don’t need to get a license.  They can choose to go to culinary school if they want, and the restaurants they work in are inspected to ensure health and safety are being maintained. 

Why don’t hair artists get the same freedom to style their own careers?

help us increase opportunities for blow-dry stylists in Oklahoma

Please fill out the below form 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

Oklahoma requires 1,500 hours of cosmetology school – even if an artist only wants to shampoo or blow-dry style hair, or if a salon owner wants to hire someone to provide these limited services. 

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 1,500 hours of expensive, traditional 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, and some employers want to hire beauty professionals who will provide limited services.  Why should they be forced to first pay for 1,500 hours to get a full-service license?

  • They may only want to do blow-dry and 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.