Board of Barber




The board is closely monitoring the spread of the novel coronavirus and communicating with public-health authorities. We strongly urge you to review information about COVID-19 on the following websites:



If board regulations are creating a difficulty related to COVID-19, please contact us. We will review your concerns and determine what options exist. Our goal is to protect public health.


Barbershops reopening with restrictions


Effective May 22 at 5:00 PM, barbershops can reopen. However, there are some requirements they must meet, as explained in the documents below. It's important to note that the requirements are binding on barbershops, and you must follow the requirements.


  • Requirements and recommendations : click here to review a list of things you must do, as well as recommendations. The requirements deal with topics such as:
    • Social distancing and minimizing exposure
    • Face coverings
    • Cleaning and hygiene
    • Monitoring for symptoms
  • FAQs: click here for a list of frequently asked questions about the executive order.


License renewal deadline has been delayed to July 31


Last week, the General Assembly passed and Governor Cooper signed a bill to give state agencies authority to take certain limited actions to assist individuals and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Based on that legislation, the board filed rules to delay the renewal deadline for licenses (barbershop, registered barber, apprentice barber, barber school, and barber instructor) from May 31 to July 31, 2020. The board took this action because it recognizes that licensees have been out of work for several weeks, and they may only come back to work just before the May 31 deadline.


There are a few things to keep in mind:


  • Any license that expires on May 31, 2020 will remain effective through July 31, 2020, even though the license says that the expiration is May 31.
  • This is a one-time action for the current period for license renewals. It isn’t a permanent change in the renewal date.
  • Although the renewal date has been delayed this year, the renewed licenses will still only be effective until May 31, 2021.
  • You will still be able and required (unless you get a waiver) to renew online.
  • Any licenses that expired before May 31, 2020 (such as already expired licenses, or apprentice licenses that were ineligible to be renewed because of the three-year limit) would not be extended through July 31. However, you won’t incur additional late fees beyond the ones already incurred if you update and renew the licenses by July 31.


We appreciate the licensees who already renewed. Your license will still have the same expiration date as barbers who haven’t renewed, so you aren’t at any disadvantage because you renewed early.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the board office.


Board employees are working remotely, but office is closed to public traffic


The board staff will be primarily working remotely to make sure that illness doesn't jeopardize our ability to respond to your questions and to continue providing services. Please note the following:


  • We send and receive mail three times each week. Mail will be held securely at the State Mail Center until it's delivered.
  • Online services, including applications and renewals, will remain available available, and we recommend that you use them rather than mail.
  • We encourage you to contact us by email ( rather than phone for a faster response. Our staff will check messages, including voice mail, but email is the best method of contact.


How shops can control spread of the novel coronavirus


The board’s existing rules and statutes are designed to disinfection procedures. Please make sure you follow our regulations at all times to help control the spread of the virus. We also encourage you to consider the following when providing barber services:


  • The CDC has issued guidance to small businesses on reopening and disinfection recommendations. Please click here to access the CDC's resources.
  • Though the virus is dangerous and easily transmissible, it isn’t very hardy. Household or standard cleaning agents should be sufficient to kill the virus on surfaces. But make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for disinfection, including leaving the cleaning product on the surface for the required period of time before wiping it up. For a full list of disinfectants that can be used against the virus, please see follow this link from the Environmental Protection Agency. Please keep in mind that some chemicals may have health consequences for your clients, such as children with asthma, so please be attentive to the manufacturer's guidance.
  • Please make sure you are using EPA-registered disinfecting agents for your tools and clippers and that you’re following the manufacturer’s instructions. Some comment disinfecting agents used in barbershops, such as Barbicide and Cavicide, are EPA-registered agents.
  • With few exceptions, barbershops must have a sink with running hot and cold water within seven unobstructed feet of the barber chair. The purpose of this requirement is to promote frequent handwashing. Please make sure you wash your hands before and after providing services to each client – both for your protection and theirs – and that you clean all surfaces that you and clients regularly touch between services.
  • Wash you hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. We strongly encourage you to follow the steps outlined by the World Health Organization to properly clean your hands and kill the virus. Click here for a 90-second video demonstration.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, mouth, and nose.
  • Consider making a list of surfaces (counters, handles, clipper handles, chairs, armrests, etc) that need to be disinfected regularly so that you don’t miss any areas, and consider removing any unnecessary materials that may be handled or touched, such as magazines.
  • To the degree possible, practice social distancing. Try to avoid having individuals congregating in close proximity in waiting rooms or shared areas. Consider asking clients to wait in the car until the appointment begins to limit how many people are in the barbershop. You may want to post signs and place floor markings to assist with social distancing.
  • You may want to increase the distance between barbers by leaving some barber chairs empty.
  • Don’t provide services to individuals who have an infectious disease that you could spread to other clients or loved ones. Encourage your clients to stay at home if they’re sick, and encourage your employees to do the same.
  • Consider limiting certain services that require you to have close face-to-face contact, such as shaves. Also consider limiting the amount of time you spend with a client, if possible.
  • Consider following CDC guidelines and wear a mask. Also encourage your clients to wear masks.
  • Try to use hair capes only once per client until the cape is washed. You may want to use disposable hair capes if you don't have enough reusable capes.
  • If possible, provide tissues for your employees and clients, and use no-touch trashcans.


Unemployment assistance


Many barbers have asked about their eligibility for unemployment. Although the board doesn't administer unemployment, the Division of Economic Security and the Governor's Office have indicated that independent contractors and self-employed workers will be eligible for federal unemployment benefits beginning Friday, April 24. (They won't be eligible for state unemployment benefits at this time.) For more information, please go to the Division of Economic Security website.


Small Business Administration


The U.S. Small Business Administration granted Governor Roy Cooper’s request for a disaster declaration for small businesses that are suffering economic losses due to the new Coronavirus, COVID-19.  It's possible that barbershops and barber schools could qualify, depending on the circumstances.


For more information, please see Governor Cooper's press release.  (Please note that the board is passing on this information as an aid to barbershops and schools. We won't be able to answer questions about whether your business will qualify, nor can we guarantee that shops or schools are going to be able to get assistance.)


Frequently asked questions


We have a page with questions we frequently receive from barbers and members of the public. You can see our FAQs by clicking here.


Emergency and temporary rulemaking (for schools)


The board has adopted emergency rules to assists schools with options for online education and to extend deadlines for reporting requirements. The rules will be in effect from March 27 to June 14, 2020, as long as there's a governor-declared state of emergency in effect.  To see the rules, please click here.


The same rules have been proposed as temporary rules, with the opportunity for public comment until May 8, 2020. For more information on the rules and how to comment, please click here or see our News page under "Rulemaking."




The board has canceled the April, May, and June exams. A letter to all applicants is going out this week with information about why we're canceling them and how we're limiting any negative impact on applicants. You can read a copy of the letter by clicking here. Once we can begin scheduling exams again, we will schedule as many additional exam days as needed to eliminate any backlog.


If your license or temporary permit (permission to work) will expire as a result of the cancellation, please contact us and we can see what options exist for you.


New barbershops


If you're opening a new barbershop, we strongly recommend that you use our online application rather than a paper application. That option will limit any delay because of additional processing time, especially if our staff is limited due to illness.  The application is available on our Forms page.


In addition, we have an option for shops to receive a consent order to operate while they're waiting for an inspection. This option helps us make sure that you can operate even if the inspector isn't available (possibly due to illness). If you need a consent order and have submitted an application, please contact us.




  • During any emergency, cybersecurity is a concern. Be cautious with your bank and personal information.
  • The board will never ask you through email to reset passwords, provide sensitive information (such as a social security number), or click a link to pay.
  • Make sure that when you renew your license or pay for board services, you are only on the board’s website domain ( or our licensing vendor’s domain ( If you’re not sure, please feel free to contact us at




  • If you have questions that are specifically about barber regulations and their relationship to COVID-19, please see our contact page for information on how to reach us.
  • If you have questions about COVID-19 that aren't specifically about barber regulations, please see the NCDHHS website.




Stay in Touch

North Carolina Board of Barber Examiners

7001 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27699-7000

(919) 814-0640