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South Carolina Board of Cosmetology

Qualification for Schools and Instructors License

Basic course for Cosmetology

Basic course for Nail Technician

Basic Course for Esthetics

Instructor; Qualifications

Instructor Examination

Instructor Temporary Permit

Instructor Examination Review

Instructor Reciprocity

Instructor-Renewal License

General Rules for Cosmetology School

Public School Cosmetology

35-3. Minimum Curriculum for a school of Cosmetology, Manicure or Esthetics.

Qualification for Schools and Instructors License

(A) Basic course for a School of Cosmetology 1500 Hours Curriculum


(1) Science of Cosmetology:

(a) Sanitation and Sterilization


(b) Personal Hygiene and Grooming


(c) Professionalism--Professional Ethics


(d) Public Relations, Salesmanship and Psychology


(e) Anatomy


(f) Dermatology


(g) Trichology


(h) Nail Structure


(i) Chemistry


(j) Safety Precautions (Public Safety)


(2) Practice of Cosmetology:

(a) Shampoos and Rinses (Safety)


(b) Scalp and Hair Care-Treatments (Safety)


(c) Hair Shaping (Safety)


(d) Hair Styling (Safety)


(i) Thermal Pressing

(ii) Thermal Curling

(iii) Wiggery

(iv) Roller Placement

(v) Molding

(vi) Pin Curling

(e) Nail Technology (Safety)


(f) Chemical (Cold) Waving, Chemical Relaxing or Straightening



(g) Hair Tinting (Coloring) and Lightening (Bleaching)



(h) Facial--Skin Care and Make-up (Safety)


(3) State Law: Rules, Regulations, Code


(4) Threading


(5) Unassigned: Specific Needs





(B) Basic course for a School of Nail Technology 300 Hours Curriculum



(a) Bacteriology

(i) Classifications

(b) Sanitation

(i) Chemical Agents

(ii) Sanitizing methods and Procedures

(2) Anatomy and Physiology (Arms, Hands, Feet) 30


(a) Nail Shapes, Structures, Growth

(i) Nail Irregularities

(ii) Nail Diseases

(b) Bones, Muscles, Nerves

(i) Bones of arm, hand

(ii) Muscles of arm, hand

(iii) Nerves of arm, hand

(c) Skin

(i) Histology

(ii) Functions

(d) Blood Circulation

(i) Blood Vessels

(ii) Blood supply of the arm, hand foot

(3) Nail Technology (hands and feet) 105


(a) Preparation

(b) Equipment and Implements

(c) Supplies

(d) Procedures

(i) Basic Nail Technology

(ii) Oil Nail Technology

(iii) Nail analysis

(iv) Hand and arm massage

(e) Pedicure

(f) Polish--Application

(g) Specific Needs

(4) Artificial Nails 50


(a) Sculpturing (liquid and powder brush ons)

(b) Artificial nail tips

(c) Nail wraps and repairs

(d) Maintenance

(5) Power Equipment 25


(6) State Law 15





(C) Basic course for a School of Esthetics 450 Hours Curriculum

Subjects Hours

(1) Professional Practices


(a) Bacteriology and Sanitation

(i) Personal hygiene

(ii) Public health

(iii) Methods

(iv) Procedures

(b) Business Practices

(i) Management practices

(ii) Salon development

(iii) Insurance

(iv) Client records

(v) Salesmanship

(2) Sciences


(a) Histology of Skin

(i) Cell

(ii) Tissue

(b) Dermatology

(i) Structure of the skin and glands

(ii) Functions of the skin and glands

(iii) Conditions and disorders of the skin

(iv) Characteristics of the skin

(A) Elasticity

(B) Color

(C) Skin types

(v) Nutrition

(A) Nourishment of skin

(B) Healthful diet

(c) Structure and Functions of Human Systems

(i) Skeletal

(ii) Muscular

(iii) Nervous

(iv) Circulatory

(v) Cosmetic Chemistry

(3) Facial Treatments


(a) Facial Massage

(i) Benefits

(ii) Analysis

(iii) Preparation

(iv) Types of Massage

(v) Manipulations

(vi) Safety measures

(b) Electrical current--facial treatments

(i) Types of current

(ii) Purpose and effects

(iii) Procedures

(iv) Safety measures

(v) Equipment

(c) Other kinds of Facial treatments

(i) Purpose and effects

(ii) Types and treatments

(iii) Preparation

(iv) Procedures

(v) Safety measures

(4) Hair Removal


(a) Depilatories

(b) Tweezing

(c) Waxing

(d) Threading

(e) Unassigned: Specific Needs

(5) Makeup


(a) Purpose and effects

(b) Supplies and implements

(c) Preparation

(d) Procedures

(e) Safety measures

(6) Body Wraps


(a) Purpose and effects

(b) Types or treatments

(c) Supplies and instruments

(d) Preparation

(e) Procedure

(f) Safety measures

(7) State Law, Rules, Regulations and Codes




35-4. Instructor; Qualifications; Applications.

  1. A license to teach cosmetology, nail technology or esthetics may be issued by the board to any person who:

    (1) submits an application for an instructor's license on a form prescribed by the board; and

    (2) holds a high school diploma or a General Education Development (G.E.D.) certificate; and

    (3) is a licensed cosmetologist, nail technician or esthetician and has practiced for at least two years or, after receiving a cosmetologist, nail technician or esthetician license, has completed a seven hundred fifty (750) hour instructor training program meeting the standards of 35-4(B); and

    (4) has received forty-five (45) hours training in a teaching methods course approved by the board; and

    (5) pays the prescribed fee; and

    (6) passes the instructor's examination prescribed by the board; or

    (7) alternately, for specialized theory hours, a person who has a minimum of five years experience or a bachelor's degree in a related profession, occupation or cognitive area, may instruct the required theory classes with prior approval by the board.
  2. To be approved by the board, an instructor for a methods of teaching course must qualify by:

    (1) having a Masters degree in education; or

    (2) having expertise in a board approved related field.
  3. The Student Instructor Training Program shall:

    (1) consist of a minimum of seven hundred fifty (750) hours of instruction designed to teach students the basics of instruction in a cosmetology, nail technology, or esthetics program; and

    (2) be conducted under the direct supervision of a licensed instructor in a school licensed by this board. Instructors may supervise only one student at a time; and

    (3) be required when an applicant does not meet the requirement of two years of experience as a licensed cosmetologist, nail technician, or esthetician; and

    (4) be limited to those persons currently licensed in South Carolina who hold a valid high school diploma or General Education Development certificate (G.E.D.).
  4. The curriculum shall consist of:

    (1) one hundred twenty-five (125) hours of instruction in basic teaching methods and counseling techniques, development of lesson plans, South Carolina cosmetology laws and regulations; and

    (2) two hundred forty (240) hours of instruction in theory, use of audio-visual equipment, evaluation techniques and instruments, classroom observation, practice teaching, and record keeping; and

    (3) two hundred forty (240) hours of instruction in sterilization and sanitation, supervision of clinical activity, effective demonstration procedures, presentation of styling techniques, student/patron relationship; and

    (4) one hundred twenty (120) hours of instruction in state enrollment procedures and requirements, inventory control and purchasing, student scheduling, graduate records, licensure application forms; and

    (5) twenty-five (25) hours unassigned to be designated as needed on an individual basis.
  5. Schools offering the Student Instructor Training Program shall submit a proposed curriculum to the board for approval. The approved course must be adhered to. Any change in the curriculum shall be submitted to the board for approval prior to implementation. A copy of the approved curriculum must be given to each student.

    (1) Before enrolling a student in the Student Instructor Training Program, the school must disclose in writing that the course is not required for licensure as an instructor if the enrollee has a cumulative total of twenty-four (24) months of experience as a licensed cosmetologist, nail technician, or esthetician. The student must sign a statement that he or she has been advised of all state instructor licensure requirements.

    (2) A copy of the student instructor's contract must be kept on file at all times and available for inspection by the board or its agents.

    (3) The student instructor shall be properly identified at all times.

    (4) The school must provide a certified transcript documenting the hours obtained by the student instructor to the board after all contractual and financial obligations have been met.

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35-5. Instructor Examinations; Reexaminations. (Statutory Authority: 1976 Code ¤¤40-13-160, 40-13-180)

  1. Upon determining that an applicant is eligible for examination, the board shall notify the applicant at least ten days before the examination.
  2. If an applicant fails to appear for a scheduled examination, the examination fee shall be forfeited.
  3. The board may subscribe to the National Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology Testing Service or such other testing service as selected by the board for the theory portion of the examination.
  4. The examination shall be administered in two separate parts.

    (1) One part shall be the theory examination with a minimum passing score of 75.

    (2) One part shall be the practical examination with a minimum passing score of 75.
  1. An applicant who fails either part of the examination must retake only the part of the examination failed.
  2. An applicant desiring to be reexamined shall apply to the board on a form prescribed by the board and pay the prescribed reexamination fee.
  3. An applicant applying for comity licensure, shall also pass a South Carolina state law exam as designated by the South Carolina Board of Cosmetology.

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35-8. Instructor Reciprocity.

Upon application and payment of the required fee, a license to teach cosmetology, esthetics, or nail technology may be issued by the board to any person who:

(1) is currently licensed, and in good standing, as an instructor in a state that has a nationally endorsed examination; or

(2) who is a licensed cosmetologist, esthetician or nail technician who has practiced for at least two years in any other state and submits proof, satisfactory to the board, of having completed instructor training which is substantially equivalent to requirements of this state.

35-9. Instructor -- Renewal License.

The holders of current instructors' licenses shall not be required to renew their cosmetologist, esthetician or nail technician licenses as long as the instructor's license is renewed biennially and the instructor's continuing education (CE) requirements are met.

(1) If the holder of a current instructor's license chooses to receive a cosmetologist, esthetician or nail technician license in addition to the instructor's license, the eligible license may be issued upon payment to the board of the prescribed renewal fee.

(2) If the holder of a current instructor's license chooses to no longer renew the instructor's license and elects instead to reactivate a cosmetologist, esthetician or nail technician license, such license will be considered as being current with the instructor's license and the eligible license may be issued upon payment to the board of the prescribed renewal fee.

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35-10. General Rules for the Operation of Cosmetology Schools.

  1. Contracts.

    (1) The contract between a licensed school and a student shall include the total cost of the course and supplies, including the cost of a kit if that cost is not otherwise included in the cost of the course, the type of course to be taken, and the total hours of instruction required for completion and a payment schedule.

    (2) The school must provide each student with a copy of the signed contract.

    (3) The contract will contain:

    (a) a statement clearly indicating to the student that the school will not release, to any licensing board or other schools, any certified hours or transcripts unless financial and contractual obligations for those hours obtained have been met;

    (b) a statement regarding any board approved teach-out agreement or the related bond;

    (c) a copy of all approved school rules and regulations.
  2. Records.

    (1) Performance Records

    (a) All schools shall keep a daily record of the daily attendance, hours earned per day, total hours per month, and the total number to date of all students registered in any program.

    (b) Schools shall maintain at the school the names of the students enrolled, the total hours previously recorded for each student, the total number of hours completed during the month for each student, and the total cumulative number of hours for each student at the end of the preceding month. This report shall reflect the student's daily attendance and whether the student is attending day or evening class.

    (2) Signing of Records

    (a) Both the instructor and the student shall verify and sign all hours on monthly performance records. Students shall be provided a certified copy of their monthly performance records.

    (3) Maintaining Records

    A student shall be given hourly credit on the basis of one hour credit for one hour of actual classroom instruction or one hour of actual clinic work. A record of this shall be maintained by the school for not less than five years.

    (4) Withdrawals

    (a) The school will provide the student with a certified transcript of earned hours within ten working days of the student's withdrawal or graduation provided all contractual agreements have been met.
  3. Instructing Staff.

    (1) Classroom Supervision

    (a) An instructor shall be present in the classroom of school during all class and study hours and must supervise all student practice work.

    (b) During school or class hours, instructors shall be totally devoted to instructing the students, and shall not apply their time to private or public practice for compensation.

    (c) Instructors shall not permit students to instruct or teach other students in the absence of an instructor.

    (2) Schools must furnish to the board a list of all regular and emergency instructors and schedules.

    (3) Instructors may not teach more than one course at a time; however, supervising in the teacher training program is not considered teaching a course.

    (4) Schools shall provide separate instructors for each course offered at the ratio of one instructor for every twenty students in attendance or portion thereof, but not including student instructors.

    (5) Absence of Instructor

    (a) If an emergency situation arises and a substitute instructor is needed, the school shall obtain a licensed instructor, if possible, to substitute and shall notify the board, within five business days, of the emergency change in instructors.

    (b) If a licensed instructor is not available, the board may, upon request of the school, allow a currently licensed cosmetologist to teach temporarily, not to exceed thirty calendar days without board approval.

    (c) Schools must report any change in instructors or schedules to the board in writing, including lists of the instructors and scheduled times of instruction and whether the position is temporary, permanent, part time or full time. If the position is temporary, notification must include the time scheduled for the position to be filled permanently.

    (6) Teaching Aids

    (a) Instructors may not use demonstrations of cosmetology devices, techniques or preparations to evade the requirement for maintaining a proper instructor-student ratio, but only to demonstrate unique and different devices, techniques and preparations to students and instructors. A licensed instructor must be present in the classroom during such demonstrations.

    (b) The board reserves the right to require the addition of any equipment or supplies it deems necessary for the full and complete instruction of students.
  4. Training Schedules.

    (1) Class scheduling

    (a) Schools offering day classes must conduct theory classes not less than six hours per week.

    (b) Schools offering evening classes must conduct theory classes not less than three hours per week.

    (c) A school operating or planning to operate an evening class shall provide the board with a schedule and the name of the instructor.

    (d) No student shall be required or permitted to attend more than eight hours of instruction or practice, or any combination thereof, in any one day, except that a student may be permitted to complete a service in process or to make previously missed time not to exceed 100% of the student's contracted schedule.

    (2) Advanced Training

    Advanced training courses must be operated separately from the basic cosmetology classes and the students must be properly identified.
  5. Credit Hours.

    (1) Schools may not give credit for hours or certify hours with the board until the schools are properly licensed.

    (2) A student shall be given credit on the basis of one hour clock credit for one hour of actual classroom instruction or one hour of actual clinic work.

    (3) Schools may not give credit for hours while in attendance at trade shows, seminars, etc., without full supervision and proper documentation by the instructor. These hours shall be creditable only if they are deemed educational.

    (4) Hours recorded shall be verified monthly by both the instructor and the student and both shall sign these records.

    (5) Hours from other states

    (a) If a student from another state establishes residence in South Carolina, the South Carolina Board will accept all certified hours from another state board but the student must complete any additional hours necessary to equal South Carolina Board requirements.

    (b) In the event the state board of another state does not certify hours, the South Carolina Board may accept certification by the school.

    (6) The board shall approve any transfer of hours between cosmetology, nail technology, or esthetics courses.

    (7) Upon completion of the required number of hours the state board exam must be taken within twenty-four months or the said hours become invalid.
  6. Services for the Public--Restrictions.

    (1) Schools may only permit its students to practice upon members of the public willing to submit themselves to such practice after being fully informed that the person performing the services is a student.

    (2) Curriculum - Schools must not allow students to practice on the public until they have satisfied the prerequisite required training to provide those services.

    (3) Each school shall display in a conspicuous place, visible upon entry to the school, a sign stating that all services in the school are performed by students who are in training and under the direct supervision of a licensed instructor.

    (4) Schools may charge for work performed by students to help defray the cost of operations. It must post or provide a price list for services rendered to the public in type which can be easily read from a conspicuous distance.

    (5) Instructors shall not call a student from a theory class to work on the public.
  7. School Examinations.

    (1) It shall be the duty of the teaching staff to give a final examination to every student who is a candidate for a degree or diploma.

    (2) A passing grade determined by the said school is required for graduation.
  8. School Standards.

    (1) Board Requirements

    (a) All school rules and regulations and any changes thereto must be approved by the board.

    (b) Schools shall permit the board, or its agents, to inspect the school and records which pertain to this chapter at any time during regular school hours.

    (2) A school may not operate with an enrollment of less than six active students.

    (3) Schools may not recruit students from other schools or knowingly make false or misleading statements to students about other schools.

    (4) A school may not operate as a beauty salon or spa.

    (5) If the school is closed, the board must be notified within ten working days via certified mail.
  9. Student Standards.

    (1) Students enrolled in a school shall wear name tags which clearly indicate that they are students.

    (2) Students shall wear professional attire while attending school.
  10. Advertising.

    While schools may advertise, all school advertisements must clearly identify to the consuming public that it is a school and that all services will be performed by students under the direct supervision of a licensed instructor.
  11. Transcripts.

    Upon obtaining hours, for which the school has been compensated for, the school shall provide the student with a certified transcript on a board approved form:

    (1) if the school closes; or

    (2) the student withdrawals; or

    (3) the student transfers; or

    (4) any licensing request.

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110 Centerview Dr.
Columbia, S.C. 29210
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