The Iowa Board of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences and the Iowa Board of Massage Therapy govern the licensing regulations for beauty services in the state.

Beauty professions regulated are:

Non-Regulated Beauty Services in Iowa, USA:

Ideally, professional training should be done at an approved school, and the board requires the institution to submit proof of completion of education. Graduates from schools not approved by the board must direct their institutions to show proof of training completion that should meet the state’s requirements. More licensing details are available here:

Regulated Beauty Services in Iowa, USA

Nail Technician

Interested nail techs are required to complete 325 training hours. The passing grade on the licensure examination must be a minimum of 75%.


Hairstylists are professionals that need a cosmetologist license. Cosmetologists in Iowa must secure a diploma or transcript of completion of training with 2,100 hours. A passing grade of 75% on the exam is also expected for cosmetologists.

Facialist / Makeup Artist / Lash Technician (Lash Extensions, Lash and Brow Tinting) / Waxing Technician

These beauty professionals can either get a cosmetologist or esthetician license. For estheticians, they must finish 600 training hours and should reach a minimum of 75% passing grade on the exam.

Massage Therapist

Massage therapists should complete 600 training hours and show proof of passing an MBLEx or NCBTMB examination. Applicants with licenses from other issuing jurisdictions and those who move to Iowa with relevant work experience will be reviewed by the board.

For further details about the various licenses for beauty services, here’s a full list of regulations:

Non-Regulated Beauty Services in Iowa, USA

Lash Technician (Lash Lifts)

Lash lifts are also very popular in the industry, and professionals interested to offer this service only don’t need a license. Professional training is still recommended to learn the skills.

Spray Tanning Technician

Spray tanning techs can work in the state without a license. Iowa doesn’t have a regulatory board for this service, so aspirants can learn from any course or school.