By the Division of Professional Licensure

The provisions of 232 CMR 2.01 are applicable to both barber shops and barber schools, except where a regulation specifically states otherwise.

(1) Inspections.
All barber shops and barber schools shall be open to any member of the Board or its investigators during business hours.

(2) Display Sign or Barber Pole.
Every barber shop open to the public shall display at the entrance a sign and/or barber pole, indicating it is a barber shop and/or unisex hairstyling salon.

(3) Permits.

(a) In every barber shop, the holder of a barber registration certificate or apprentice registration certificate shall post the same in a conspicuous place in front of his/her working chair where it may be readily seen. (M.G.L. c. 112, § 87J)

(b) Before any barber shop is opened or relocated, the Board must be notified in writing and a floor plan must be forwarded to the Board for approval at least 15 days prior to the opening of a new barber shop or the relocation of an existing barber shop. Before any shop may be reopened by a new owner(s), at least five days prior written notice of any change in ownership must be provided to the Board.

(c) Barber shop licenses are valid only for the location named in the license and are not transferable or assignable.

(d) Barber shop owners must immediately notify the Board in writing of the sale or any transfer in ownership of a barber shop. Barber shop licenses must be displayed in a conspicuous place within the barber shop.

(e) No barber shop may employ more than three apprentices per registered barber employed by such barber shop.

(4) Sanitation.

(a) Floors, walls, ceilings, furniture, fixtures and other apparatus, and all other exposed surfaces in every barber shop and school shall be kept clean and sanitary, free from dust and in good repair at all times. Curtains, if any, must be machine laundered or chemically cleaned.

(b) Brooms, mops, and any other articles used to wash floors, brush or wash the walls, shall not be left exposed. All residue, cut hair, dirt, etc., swept off the floor shall be placed in a covered container or containers until properly disposed of outside the barber shop or school.

(c) Running hot and cold water shall be provided. All water shall be from a public supply when available. Where no public water supply is available, water shall be supplied from a suitably located pressure or gravity tank. A suitable sink which is connected as to provide for satisfactory disposal of all waste water shall be provided within the barber shop or school. A toilet and necessary hand washing facilities shall be provided. These shall be located within the barber shop or school, or shall be accessible directly from the barber shop or school within the same building. It shall be the responsibility of barber shop and school owners to keep the toilet and hand washing facilities clean and sanitary.

(d) No room or part of a building occupied by a barber shop or school shall be used for sleeping purposes nor shall living quarters of any kind be directly connected with a barber shop or school.

(e) Every barber shop and school shall be equipped with suitable and adequate washing facilities and an adequate supply of hot and cold water. The source of this water shall be approved by the local board of health, where no public water supply is available.

(f) Every barber shop shall be properly and adequately lighted and ventilated and kept in a clean, orderly and sanitary condition and under the supervision of a registered barber at all times.

(g) The headrest of each barber chair shall be provided with a clean covering of cloth or paper for each patron.

(h) All clean towels shall be kept exclusively in a closed, clean cabinet drawer or closet. No towel or any other piece of linen which has been used on a patron or which has been used for any other purpose shall be placed at any time in the same compartment with the clean towels. Hair cloths and breast cloths shall be enclosed in a compartment separate from the clean towels.

(i) All used towels shall be placed in a covered container or containers. No towel shall be left at any time on a workstand, barber chair, sink or otherwise exposed at any place in a barber shop or school.

(j) No used towel or cloth shall be used on another patron until it has been laundered in a sanitary manner. A freshly laundered towel or other protection shall be placed around the neck of the patron so as to prevent chaircloth from touching the skin.

(k) Alum or other material used to stop the flow of blood shall be used only in a liquid or powder form and shall be applied with a clean towel or cotton.

(l) No powder puffs, finger bowls, sponges, styptic pencil or lump alum shall be used by a barber or apprentice on any patron.

(m) No shaving brushes shall be used.

(n) No soap in cake or stick form shall be used. Liquid soap in a lathering machine may be used.

(o) Paper used for wiping razors shall be clean. No printed paper is permitted. Used shaving paper shall be placed in a separate covered container.

(p) Jars containing cream or pomades shall be kept covered at all times, except when being used and removed from such jars with a clean spatula.

(q) No barber, student, demonstrator or apprentice shall use on a patron or display in a barber shop or school, any hair tonic or other liquid preparation, for use on the hair or scalp, unless such tonic or preparation is contained or displayed in a bottle or container clearly labeled with the name of the manufacturer.

(r) Machine laundering of towels and linens is permitted in a barber shop or school as long as required sanitary conditions are met.

(s) Every barber, student, demonstrator or apprentice shall wash his/her hands thoroughly before serving each patron.

(t) Every barber and apprentice in a barber shop must have at least three hairstyling brushes.

(u) Every barber and apprentice shall keep his/her text books on barbering in the barber shop in which he/she is working for reference at all times.

(5) Sterilization.
All razors, scissors, clippers, tweezers, combs, rubber discs, parts of a vibrator, and all other implements, tools, appliances and utensils that come in contact with the head, neck or face of a patron, shall be disinfected before use upon any patron and, thereafter, before use on another patron. No tools/implements shall be left exposed on the workstand at any time but shall be cleaned, disinfected and placed in a clean, closed drawer or cabinet whenever such tools are not in use or in the process of being sterilized.

(a) One of the following methods of sanitizing shall be used on all implements:


  1. Boiling water at 212° fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
  2. Steaming, dry heat.
  3. 70% grain or denatured alcohol for at least ten minutes.
  4. Ultra violet rays in an electrical sanitizer.


  1. Antiseptics and disinfectants.
  2. Vapors, formalin and steri/dry.
  3. One part bleach to ten parts water to sterilize cutting implements. The method to be used is as follows: Rinse the implement in water first, immerse the implement in the bleach solution, shake the implement in the bleach solution, repeat the rinse/immerse/shake process described, rinse the implement in water a final time, then wipe the implement dry with a clean cloth or paper towel and place in a closed cabinet or disinfectant solution. This procedure applies to plastic, metal, steel or rubber. This procedure is the recommended infection control procedure of the Centers for Disease Control regarding all blood borne pathogens, including HIV infection/AIDS.

(6) Service Outside Barber Shop.

(a) 232 CMR 2.01(4)(g) through 2.01(4)(t) shall be complied with by barbers and apprentices performing any barbering services for sick or infirm persons in homes or hospitals. Services must be by request from a paying patron through a registered shop.

(b) 232 CMR 2.01(4)(g) through 2.01(4)(t) shall be complied with by demonstrators performing barbering services.

(7) Treatment of Skin Conditions.
No barber, student, demonstrator or apprentice shall remove or attempt to remove a wart or mole, or treat any skin disease, of a patron.

(8) Unprofessional Conduct.
Personal registration of a barber or apprentice and/or shop registration of a barber may be suspended, revoked, placed on probation, or otherwise disciplined after a hearing, if the barber has been found guilty of unprofessional conduct, which shall include, but not be limited to, deceit, gross misconduct, or any violation of the laws of the Commonwealth relating thereto or these rules and regulations.

(9) Advertising.
Unfair, misleading, deceptive and fraudulent advertising is prohibited. Truthful and accurate advertising is permitted, consistent with professional ethics and community standards. If prices are advertised, such advertisement must clearly indicate what is included in the advertised price.

(10) Display of Rules.
A copy of the current regulations of the Board of Registration of Barbers shall be displayed in a conspicuous place in each barber shop and school. Copies of the regulations may be obtained from the State Bookstore, Room 116, State House, Boston, MA 02133.


Recommended Content

People also viewed...

You recently viewed...

Personalization is OFF. Your personal browsing history at is not visible because your personalization is turned off. To view your history, turn your personalization on.

Learn more on our .

*Recommendations are based on site visitor traffic patterns and are not endorsements of that content.