Nova Scotia

The province of Nova Scotia has a separate regulatory body that sets licensing protocols for beauticians, which is the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia (CANS). The association states that individuals wishing to start a career in beauty should undergo formal training at a registered school with a specific number of hours depending on the chosen trade.

Individuals enrolled in beauty training must also register for the provincial examination administered by the CANS. They should pass the exam to become certified or licensed to practice in their trades.

More information about the licensing process is detailed here:

Also, the CANS has a list of accredited colleges offering beauty courses you can check out:

Below is a quick list of the regulated and non-regulated trade skills in the province, which are discussed in detail in the next sections:

Non-Regulated Beauty Service in Nova Scotia, Canada:

Regulated Trade Skills in Nova Scotia, Canada


An aspiring hairstylist in Nova Scotia should take cosmetologist-hairdressing training. They are expected to complete professional training for 1,500 hours in theory and practice. Some of the skills a student can learn are clipper cutting, chemical application, permanent wave wrap, hair setting and layered cutting.

More resources about the provincial examination for hairdressing are found here:


Facialists are grouped into one category, which is cosmetologist-esthetics, along with makeup, waxing, artificial nail enhancements and pedicuring. But makeup, artificial nail enhancements, waxing and pedicuring can be taken in separate licenses if an individual wants to focus on any of these areas.

Esthetics is the broader scope and requires 1,500 training hours in theory and practical skills. Each service is discussed and demonstrated thoroughly in the training.

Here’s the link to various resources about the examination for esthetics:

Nail Technician

Nail technicians in Nova Scotia are expected to finish formal training for 300 hours, theory and practice combined. The course should include pedicuring and nail enhancements for gel and acrylic.

For resources about the examination, check out this link:

Makeup Artist

Like nail techs, makeup artists are also required to complete 300-hour training in theoretical and technical skills. Students can learn day and evening makeup with the help of qualified instructors.

Provincial examination resources for makeup artists are given here:

Waxing Technician

Waxing technicians can take the body hair removal license to focus on this area. This license covers waxing the brows, underarms and half of the legs. The required number of training hours for theory and practice is 300.

Resources for the examination are given here:

Lash Technician

Lash technicians in Nova Scotia are those who provide classic lash extensions. They need to complete 300-hour training as a requirement for the provincial examination.

For information about the examination for eyelash enhancements, click this link:

Massage Therapist

Massage therapists in Nova Scotia have a law that strictly prohibits the use of the titles “Registered Massage Therapist”, “Massage Therapist” and other similar titles, words or abbreviations without proper training from a recognised institution or provider and other requirements mandated by the local government.

Here are the full details of the requirements for becoming a massage therapist in the province:

You can also check out this short list of colleges offering approved massage therapy programs:

Non-Regulated Trade Skills in Nova Scotia, Canada

Spray Tanning Technician

Spray tanning in Nova Scotia is not regulated, though they have laws about tanning beds and UV tanning. Getting professional training for this trade skill online locally or internationally is accepted.

Out-of-Province and Out-of-Country Transfers

Like other provinces in Canada, Nova Scotia provides consideration to individuals from another province or country wishing to practice beauty services or cosmetology.

Applicants who live outside of Nova Scotia or have recently moved to the province from a jurisdiction without licensing regulations for cosmetologists and who want to take the examination but have not been trained must have evidence of sufficient work experience that the association can review to qualify for the exam without taking further training.

Further information about the full process for out-of-province transfers is available here:

For out-of-country transfers, the law highlights that a person should provide evidence to the CANS, as set out in the regulations, that they have sufficient experience and/or training and education in their chosen trade to be able to take the provincial examination. A specific timeframe is given to applicants to take the examination after they completed their training.

Check out the full details for the requirements here: