Frequently asked questions: Cosmetologists

Get answers to frequently asked questions about cosmetology licenses and health and safety requirements.

Licensing questions

See answers to common licensing questions.

When can I start working?

You can start working after you have received the appropriate license(s). The law requires all licenses to be posted. We'll issue a license after we receive all required documents and fees (where applicable).

I'm moving and am currently licensed in Washington State. How do I get a license in another state?

Contact the cosmetology licensing board ( in the state you're moving to. We don't provide license certification letters, but the state where you're moving can get your Washington license status with our license lookup.

How can I update my insurance online?

Learn how to update your insurance online.

Health and safety

See answers to common cosmetology-related health and safety questions. Learn more about state minimum safety and sanitation standards.

Why do I need to use a 10% bleach solution?

A 10% concentration is what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Infection Control currently supports in its recommendations.

Household bleach is made of 5.25% Sodium Hypochlorite (52,500 ppm); therefore, a 1% bleach solution is 525 ppm. Some experiments have shown that 200 ppm (or even less in some experiments) will inactivate most viruses. Therefore it would seem that a 1% solution of household bleach might be adequate.

However, hypochlorite is substantially and quickly inactivated in the presence of organic matter. So, although 1% may be adequate for surface decontamination, a 10% dilution may be a better choice for inactivation of virus when one is cleaning out areas which have been infested by rodents.

How do I know what a 10% bleach solution is?

Special Pathogens Branch recommends a 10% bleach solution be used to inactivate hantaviruses (A 10% solution corresponds to 1½ cups of household bleach per gallon of water, or 1 part bleach to 9 parts water).

What equivalent product can I use instead of the 10% bleach solution?

Yes, you can use a product that is registered with the EPA as a disinfectant that contains demonstrated virucidal, fungicidal, and germicidal properties.

How can I tell if a disinfectant is acceptable?

Read the product information on the label or on the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for information on disinfection properties of the product.

To be acceptable, the product must be an EPA registered, hospital-grade disinfectant with demonstrated bactericidal, virucidal, and fungicidal properties.

Technical assistance

See answers to common technical assistance questions.

Where can I get technical assistance?

The Cosmetology Section provides technical assistance to applicants and licensees if requested. To schedule an appointment, please email us at

What can I learn about during a technical assistance visit?

During a technical assistance visit you can learn about:

  • State licensing procedures
  • Compliance with regulation
  • Safety and sanitation procedures
  • Routine inspections

Related laws

Need additional help? Here's how to contact us:

call Phone: 360-664-6626
(TTY: Call 711)
mail Email:
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