UPDATE: There’s a petition now for those who want to sign it.
Of course, those of us at Beauty Schools Marketing Group keep a close eye on beauty news. It’s important to us to know what’s going on in the industry, and that doesn’t just mean hairstyle trends. It also means trends in state regulations – or, in all actuality, deregulations.
Two states recently – Indiana and New Hampshire – have introduced legislation to their respective houses calling for the deregulation of state licensing for several occupations, including cosmetology and barbering. New Hampshire’s House defeated the bill on Jan. 5th, but Indiana House Bill 1006 is still in contention. A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 17th.
Supporters of the bill claim that it should be up to consumers to find qualified professionals in all of the fields that they argue should be deregulated. In Indiana, the report by the commissioned board states:
“If a consumer receives bad service, the consumer can choose a different cosmetologist or barber next time, without any significant risk of irreversible harm … consumers can protect themselves through the standard practice of trial and error.”
Here’s where we take a deep, soothing breath – and then firmly draw the line.
We understand that times are tough right now. We understand that federal and state governments are under a lot of pressure to find areas where they can cut expenditures, and we can see how they might think that this is a good opportunity to do that.
But we adamantly disagree.
We can’t speak for any of the other professions, but by deregulating the cosmetology and beauty industry, the state would be opening up a Pandora’s Box worth of trouble. Maybe it’s been awhile since any members of the commission got anything more than a trim, but there’s a LOT more involved in training and certifying cosmetologists and barbers than making sure they know which end of the scissors is the pointy end.
Without regulations, without some minimum standards of education and training and knowledge, anyone who thinks they’re good with a curling iron could open up a salon. And that could lead to terrible and dangerous consequences for consumers.
Cosmetologists work with chemicals and procedures that, if used incorrectly, can damage skin with burns and scars or cause hair loss, either of which can be long-term or even permanent and would certainly erode the victim’s self-esteem.
With that in mind, let’s look at that statement from the report again: Yes, Indiana commission, we consider this to be both a “significant risk” and the potential for “irreversible harm.” It is NOT something that the “standard practice of trial and error” can protect consumers from nor should it be their job to worry that the person holding the bleach knows how to use it correctly on their hair and not their scalp.
Is certification and licensure a prevent-all? No. But we argue that it prevents a lot of potential trouble, gives salon-goers in the state a little peace of mind, and holds Indiana cosmetologists and barbers to a standard that their clients deserve.
We’ve made our opinion known – what do you guys think? Vote in our poll or let us know in the comments.