RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Board for Barbers and Cosmetology voted to reduce the number of hours required to obtain a cosmetology license from 1,500 hours to 1,000.

The board, under the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR), conducted the vote at its most recent meeting on July 11. A panel of advisors were assembled, including representatives of businesses, public schools, and private career and technical schools.

“Reducing regulatory obstacles that get in the way of both businesses and talented Virginians from entering the workforce has been a priority of mine since day one,” said Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Not only will this allow individuals to get to work sooner and help businesses find skilled workers, but it even reduces the amount of student loans a graduate will have to take on.”

On average, the education required for a cosmetology license costs more than $16,000 and takes nearly a year to complete, according to officials.

Virginia’s 1,500-hour training requirement was originally put in place in 1963. The change to 1,000 hours will undergo several regulatory steps, such as public comment, before becoming final.

Cosmetology training programs will also have a greater focus on public protection such as infection control and chemical safety, according to the Governor’s Office.