Cosmetologists and barbers have long been overseen by a regulatory board in Minnesota, as far back as 1897 with the Board of Barber Examiners and 1927 with the State Board of Hairdressing and Beauty Culture Examiners.
In 1971 the State Board of Hairdressing and Beauty Culture Examiners changed its name to the Board of Cosmetology, and that board existed until 1981. In 1981 oversight of cosmetologists was transferred to the Department of Commerce, and a Cosmetology Advisory Council advised the commissioner about cosmetology services and their safe operation in the state.
In 2004 the Legislature moved oversight responsibility from the Department of Commerce to a newly created board, one that would oversee both barbers and cosmetologists. From 2005 to 2009, barbers and cosmetologists were overseen by this single board, the Board of Barber and Cosmetologist Examiners.
The 2009 Legislature split that board into two separate boards effective July 1, 2009 (see Laws of Minnesota 2009, chapter 78, article 6, section 9). Cosmetologist members of the Board of Barber and Cosmetologist Examiners were transferred to the new Board of Cosmetologist Examiners and served the remainder of their unexpired term on the new board.
Laws of Minn. 2014, chap. 162 made various changes to the Board of Cosmetologist Examiners. Minnesota law now allows a person with a current license from another state to obtain a license from Minnesota by passing both a board-approved theory and practice-based examination and the Minnesota-specific written operator examination for cosmetology, nail technician or esthetician. Under previous Minnesota law, the person needed to only pass one of these two examinations.
In conjunction with a statewide rebranding campaign, the Board of Cosmetologist Examiners changed its name to the Board of Cosmetology, effective August 28, 2017. State statute still refers to the Board as the Board of Cosmetologist Examiners.