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22 March 2022

Do You Need A Licence To Become A Lash Artist?

Do You Need A Licence To Become A Lash Artist?

Are YOU an aspiring eyelash extensions artist? Looking to potentially step foot in the ever growing lash industry? If you are considering a career in the lash industry but are unsure of where or how to start, this blog is written just for you. We may or may not be reading your mind, but THESE questions are probably running through your mind as we speak …

“Do I need a license to become a lash artist?”

“How do I become a certified lash artist?”

“Are there any certifications or licensing requirements that I need?

“Are there differences in licensing between Canada and the United States?”

“What should I look for in a training program?”

It is crucial to know the necessary licensing and certification requirements in your State or Province. This ensures that you acquire the appropriate credentials prior to starting up your business. Having the correct licensing or certification is also important when purchasing insurance, and registering your business.In this blog, we will cover whether or not you need a license to work as a lash artist or lash technician in both the USA and in Canada. We did the research for you, and summarized it all (because we love you lash nerds), so keep reading for more!

Licensing versus Certification

First off, let’s distinguish the difference between licensing and certification. Some may have the misconception that certification is equivalent to licensing. This however, is not correct. A license is a legal designation given once certain requirements have been met. Oftentimes, this is the completion of an education program, completion of a certain number of hours of experience, along with a written and/or practical exam. Licensing usually also requires renewal (often on a yearly or bi-yearly basis). In the lash industry, licenses are commonly acquired through authority. Generally, it is through State Cosmetology, Aesthetics, and/or Barbering Board. 

Certification on the other hand has fewer requirements, and is usually acquired in less time. Certification is provided by companies and/or organizations. In the case of the lash extensions industry, where regulations are relaxed, you may start lashing solely after attending a lash extensions training course. Certificates of Completion are provided by private lash companies and/or lash educators once you complete their training program. The Certificate of Completion confirms that you have learned all the material, and have met the specific course’s completion requirements such as case studies, model work, etc. Keep in mind that some training institutes have enrollment requirements, and could include previous cosmetologist or esthetician license through the Cosmetology/Aesthetics/Barbering Board.

You will find that most States and Provinces have few restrictions regulating lash educators authorized to provide lash training and certificates. This is why searching for an experienced lash educator offering comprehensive courses is important. We will share more about this later in the blog.

Comparing the United States versus Canada

Different countries have different legal regulations. It is no surprise that there are also differences between each State or Province. This is why it is important to research the specific requirements for your State board and to remain up-to-date.

Although some States in the USA do not have licensing requirements, it is illegal in most states to perform eyelash extensions services without a cosmetologist, esthetician, lash specialty, or barber license from the State board. These licenses often require completion of a cosmetology program at a government-approved school, followed by apprenticeship. 

In comparison, most Provinces in Canada do not require licensing, and have significantly fewer restrictions. In Canada, there are next to no regulations in regards to who can apply false lashes and teach the service. However, there are usually regulations related to the workplace. Most provinces have their own personal service industry standards and regulations, and require inspection by an inspector prior to opening, and annually thereafter. 

Beware that even in States or Provinces where there are no licensing requirements, there are other business requirements. These can include general liability insurance, health inspection of the workspace, and a business permit.

Below you will find a list of licensing regulations for selected States in the USA, and Provinces in Canada. We do still recommend that you email or call your State or Province to verify the most up-to-date regulations as they can change. 

The USA:




Unclear (The Cosmetology Act does not mention eyelash services)


Hairdresser, esthetician


Cosmetologist or esthetician


Cosmetologist, esthetician, barber


Cosmetologist or esthetician 




Eyelash technician license, cosmetologist, esthetician




Cosmetologist, esthetician, full specialist, facial specialist, or medical license 


Cosmetologist, esthetician 


Cosmetologist, esthetician, barber 


Cosmetologist, esthetician, oreyelash extensions technician (with certain requirements fulfilled)


Certification of eyelash extensions training recognized by Indiana Department of Health, Cosmetologist


Cosmetologist, esthetician


Cosmetologist, esthetician


Cosmetologist, esthetician, eyelash permit


Cosmetologist, esthetician


Cosmetologist, esthetician


Unclear, check with the State board. Eyelash extensions is not indicated as part ofcosmetology license


Cosmetologist, esthetician




Cosmetologist, esthetician, oreyelash technician license 






Cosmetologist, esthetician


Cosmetologist, esthetician


Cosmetologist, esthetician

New Hampshire

Cosmetologist, esthetician

New Jersey


New Mexico

Cosmetologist, esthetician

New York

Cosmetologist, esthetician

North Carolina

Cosmetologist, esthetician

North Dakota

Cosmetologist, esthetician


Cosmetologist, esthetician


Cosmetologist, esthetician/facialist


Cosmetologist, esthetician


Cosmetologist, esthetician

Rhode Island

Cosmetologist, esthetician

South Carolina

Cosmetologist, esthetician

South Dakota

Cosmetologist, esthetician


Cosmetologist, esthetician


Cosmetologist, esthetician,eyelash extension specialty license


Cosmetologist, barber, esthetician


Cosmetologist, esthetician


Cosmetologist, esthetician


Cosmetologist, esthetician

West Virginia

Cosmetologist, esthetician




Cosmetologist, esthetician






British Columbia






New Brunswick

Lash and Brow Technician

Newfoundland and Labrador


Northwest Territories


Nova Scotia

Specific License (Eyelashes)





Prince Edward Island








What to look for in an eyelash extensions training program

Eyelash extensions is not an easy skill to master, and with the advancements in the industry, there is A LOT of material to learn. Eyelash extensions training programs are developed to help you build a strong foundation, and guide you towards becoming a confident and skilled lash artist. For States or Provinces that do not require licenses, or for those who wish to further their eyelash extensions knowledge and skill, taking an extensions training course is highly beneficial. 

The eyelash extensions industry is still relatively new, and so most States have few to no regulations for training courses and their curriculum. This means that almost anyone can offer lash extensions courses. As such, not all lash extensions courses are the same, and how comprehensive they are also varies. It is therefore important not to rush into selecting courses solely by the price tag, but to really look into how thorough the curriculum is, and whether or not the instructor is experienced or qualified to teach you. Here are some things to consider when researching an eyelash training program to potentially invest your time and money in: 

  • How long is the course? (Beginner courses are typically 2-3 days long, but longer is even better)
  • Is the curriculum in-depth? (Covers a wide range of topics such as: products, allergies, eye conditions, health and sanitation practices, cyanoacrylate science, proper lash bonding, troubleshooting common issues, client consultation, eye mapping techniques, extension and product knowledge, etc.)
  • Is there support after taking the course?
  • Is there an assessment?
  • How long has the instructor been performing eyelash extensions? What are their qualifications that make them a strong instructor? (Keep in mind that many artists are great at lash artistry, but are not as skilled in educating others. Application skill sets and teaching skill sets should both be considered.)
  • Is there a full kit that includes quality products from reputable brands? How comprehensive is this kit?
  • Is there a practical portion for hands-on practice on a live model?
  • Does the instructor or training program have good reviews from lash artists you know?

Take the time to do your research.

Our number one tip when it comes to taking the plunge and investing in programs and courses to become a lash artist?  Do not rush into it. Take your time in doing research and asking local lash artists for recommended instructors. You want to make sure that you do not end up paying a huge fee to find that the training program fell short. Spend time looking into everything that you will need to kickstart your new career - whether it be licensing, certification, insurance, business license, etc. 

Alrighty lash nerds, we hope that this blog answered all your questions about required licenses, and the different regulations in the USA versus Canada. If you are looking to learn more about lash education, check out our previous blog about  DFW Lash University, which is an intensive 12 week long (!!!!) lash extension training program based in Texas.

We cannot wait to share more with you in the next blog, so be sure to check back soon! 

Until then, make sure you're following us on:

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