HB 1006 – Professional deregulation

Rep. Wolkins has introduced HB 1006 which would deregulate certain professional occupations; professional occupations at least in the sense that they’re regulated under IC 25 — I recognize that in common parlance there is a debate over what constitutes a “profession” as opposed to a job.

It gives optometrists more authority with respect to prescribing drugs. The optometry board is already charged with creating a formulary of legend drugs that can be prescribed by an optometrist. This legislation would allow that list to include controlled substances.

More dramatically, however, the legislation would repeal the statutes that regulate cosmetologists, barbers, dietitians, hearing aid dealers, private investigator firms, and security guards. It also does away with their respective licensing boards.

These are tough ones for me. I certainly understand the concern that you want to go to a barber and not have your hair butchered, not get scammed by a hearing aid dealer, or robbed by a security guard. An incompetent dietitian, if trusted, could cause you serious health problems. But, I also understand the notion that we take risks with the people we hire every day. Mostly we rely on things like reputation and word of mouth, coupled with the laws that prohibit outright crime and dangerous conduct and civil suits that provide for reimbursement for damage caused by negligent conduct. Where to draw the line between what ought to be a regulated profession and what ought not be one isn’t very clear for me. Medical doctors I certainly want regulated. I’m too close to the legal profession to make a judgment on that — there is an interest in making sure you’re being advised and represented by someone who knows what they are doing, but my compensation is no doubt enhanced by the barriers to entering the profession (unless, I suppose, you consider that there are legal but unethical ways to profit yourself at the expense of your client that will get you suspended or disbarred because the profession is regulated.)

When I was at Legislative Services, I got the feeling that a lot of the professional regulation was driven, not so much by pressing safety concerns, as by people who would stand to profit by selling education services, initial or continuing, to the regulated profession. One “tell” that safety wasn’t necessarily an immediate concern is that when a lot of these professions would head into the regulated column, existing practitioners would be “grandfathered” in — i.e. they hadn’t gotten the now necessary education but would be allowed to keep on serving the public into the future.

So, I’m not a knee-jerk deregulator, but I’m certainly open to listening to arguments either way on whether these professions pose special risks to the public such that government ought to keep a closer eye and be more directly involved in assuring the public that practitioners have some minimum level of competence.


  1. Kathryn Porter says

    Here is a copy of a letter to the Representatives via the PBA (Professional Beauty Association):

    I write to you today, as a licensed professional in the cosmetology industry, to respectfully ask that you oppose House Bill 1006, which seeks to remove the Board and licensing for the cosmetology profession.

    I have grave concerns that the passage of this legislation will have a detrimental negative impact on the cosmetology profession and the health and safety of the general public. House Bill 1006 repeals the law governing cosmetologists and barbers, including their professional licensing boards and licenses.

    Indiana’s salon industry is a vibrant and legitimate, licensed industry, generating over $698 million in annual sales and providing employment opportunities for more than 9,200 individuals. Growth in Indiana’s salon industry outperformed the state’s overall private sector in recent years in the crucial area of job creation. Between 1999 and 2009, the number of salon industry jobs in Indiana increased 15 percent. In contrast, total private sector employment in the state declined 9 percent during the same 10-year period.

    Removing the Board and licenses for cosmetologists in the state of Indiana will have a detrimental fiscal impact. Removal of licensing will kill cosmetology schools, and put local distributors in the state out of business because only licensed professionals can purchase professional products. The inability to sell products in turn hurts manufacturers of those products.

    Additionally, according to the fiscal impact statement, Indiana will lose $983,646 in state revenue from licensing fees. HB 1006 will not only impact the health and safety of consumers in Indiana but will also kill jobs and small businesses. Proper education and licensing of the cosmetology profession by the State is essential to ensuring the welfare of the general public. Cosmetology services performed on the public include hairdressing, barbering, hair cutting, coloring, manicuring and skin care services. Ensuring core knowledge and competency in areas such as bacteriology, sanitation, anatomy, chemistry, and health is absolutely necessary to maintain confidence in the profession and safety for the consumer.

    Complete removal of licensing as proposed under HB 1006 poses a clear and imminent threat to the livelihood of Indiana’s 1,457 salon/spa establishments and thousands of employed licensed professionals which will impact the hundreds of thousands of clients we serve. I strongly urge you and your colleagues to oppose HB 1006.

    Thank you for your consideration of my concerns regarding this legislation. I respectfully ask you to consider the impact of HB 1006 and oppose this legislation. I look forward to hearing from you on this issue. Thank you in advance for your support.

    • steelydanfan says

      Removal of licensing will kill cosmetology schools

      This doesn’t follow. People will still want to go to people who know what they’re doing, and a cosmetology school certification can provide evidence of that.

      put local distributors in the state out of business because only licensed professionals can purchase professional products. The inability to sell products in turn hurts manufacturers of those products.

      This doesn’t follow. Who decides that “licensed professionals” can purchase “professional products”? If it’s the state, then presumably the end of licensing will mean the end of that requirement. If it’s the distributors or manufacturers themselves, they’re free to change their policies at any time.

      will not only impact the health and safety of consumers in Indiana

      This is perhaps a reasonable argument, as people seeking to save money might go see an untrained person. Most people won’t, but some might. One wonders, however, if the potential harm is any greater than if people just “did it themselves,” or if it’s something for which one can reasonably say “you can do without it if you don’t want to take these risks.”

      clear and imminent threat to the livelihood of Indiana’s 1,457 salon/spa establishments

      This doesn’t follow. People will still want to go to these places.

      and thousands of employed licensed professionals

      Of course, when a law that gives a particular class of people an exclusive and restrictive monopoly is removed, it’s going to force them to face competition from others outside that class.

      • John of Indiana says

        Danfan, I can hardly wait until they remove the licensing requirement for Physicians… I’ve got just the MOST lovely lab coat I can wear when I hang my shingle.
        Med School? WHAT Med School? I don’ need no steenkeen Med School…

        • steelydanfan says

          What makes you think I support ending physician licensing? For that matter, what makes you think I support ending cosmetologist licensing?

      • jesse knoth says

        when we as licensed professionals purchase professional brand name poducts, we pay (example 5.00) there most often is a 100% markup. this is some peoples bread and butter bc retail pays back. even when your business is slow…is everyone can go into ou pofessional stores to buy what we buy @ our cost then retail will be shot down and that will be bc anyone can buy is at forgiven prices. at this point whatever happens happens. i no matter what will ever let a uneducated person practice in my salon, i wont tolorate that kind of sloppiness.

        • chanel says

          As a current cosmetology student this is music to my ears. I am working hard for my license. And while competition might seem like a contributing factor to my stress, it is not. I know there will be several salons managers/owners such as yourself out there. And thats where i’ll working.

          What frightens me the most is not what we’ll see but what we wont see, disease and infection control. I will never feel safe in a salon that doesnt even know NOT to clip off an ingrown nail or what a blood spill kit is. They truly will never understand how easy it is to catch a fungal infection in a careless, ignorant salon.

          Ignorance s NOT bliss. Educate your self.

  2. Susan Miller says

    I would hate to think about geting a funcal infection or something more dangerous (Mersa) from a dirty razor blade or unsanitary pedicure tools. I too tend to favor dereguation, but due to the fact that barbers and cosmetologists have physical contact with their clients and use tools such as razors and nail files that can break the skin, I think it is a mistake to drop licensing requirements.


  3. Yvonne Knight says

    I totally agree 100%. What are they going to do if this law passes. There is going to be so much unsanitary practices. The chemicals that are involved and the procedures are ment to be followed in certain steps for reasons. If people don’t know this and practice this then serious injury can happen. Also this means prices will drop drastically. The amount of time and quality is a must. Yes, anyone could try to give you a relaxer and slap it on but if this proceeder is not done meticulously then a very serious injury could put in them hospital. That is the reason why we spend all those hours in the classroom practicing. I care to my about my clients health and well being to let this law pass. Please don’t let this happen.

  4. Lynn says

    I am having a hard time understanding as an educator in cosmetolgy how this is so easy ti just right us cosmetoligist off as not being proffesional and not needing regulations …. We have a liscense to touch the body we have to know the anatomy of the body , we perform massage manipulations and apply product to the skin that if not applied correctly they can harm someone, these student dont just cut and color hair they learn the bones and muscles and nerves of the body they learn how to prevent disease, there are alot of ignorant people in this world that dont realize how hard they work to learn how to protect the client and themselves ! If this bill passes there will be more disease spread and people can and will die from an infection given to someone who was not trained and liscensed because it isnt regulated, do you a politicians want to take tge risk of recieving hepatitis c from a pair of dirty clippers because you went to someone who didnt get the proper training because they are not required to ?! Or even better how about a nice infection in your legs like staph that could kill you because you recieved a pedicure from someone who thought they knew what they were doing ? It has happened before and if there are not regulations it could be you next !!! And you will be the poster child for a buyer beware poster

    • Pam says

      Lynn: Please check your spelling before 1) claiming you are a professional (and an instructor at that) and 2) posting what is trying to be a legitimate argument. I am all for training and requiring licensing for trades such as cosmotology and other trades that are listed to be deregulated. I think this bill should be vetoed and removed from the slate. Good luck!

      • kristina says

        Lynn is absolutely right, there are several risk factors for disease, this is definitely a legitimate argument. She probably was so enraged, as I am, that she was in a rush to reply to the message, because this bill is ridiculous.

        • chanel says

          Pam, not necessary. My first article I wrote in response to all of this was filled with spelling errors do to my frustration. Pam, if you only knew. And if you do have her back.

          Not only can you die from infections but worse things may happen like loss of limbs or brain function. (Yes, I would rather die then to never be able to work in a salon again ) Some infections sneak up and bite you before you even get a chance to stop it from seriously hurting you. Aaaand THATS why infection control is regualted.

  5. Mary says

    I know more than one person who has had incidents of nail damage due to the chemicals used in a pedicure, and one who had skin damage due to a sharp instrument. Of course, these happened with cosmetologists who were already licensed, so that is no guarantee of safety. But it seems to me it is the best indication of proper training and operation where safety and sanitation are important. I am surprised by this proposal as I would never want to go to an unlicensed individual for personal services of this sort, and I can’t imagine that anyone would want to.

  6. says

    I am having a hard time understanding as an educator in cosmetolgy how this is so easy ti just right us cosmetoligist off as not being proffesional

    Not to go all grammar police on you, but I think opponents to regarding cosmetology as a profession would find ammunition in a post where an educator of the profession put five spelling errors in his or her first sentence.

    Fact is that there are any number of commercial activities where the activity itself is regulated for safety but the individuals who practice them are not licensed. The question is why cosmetologists (or hearing aid dealers or whatever) should fall into the latter category and not the former.

    I don’t have a burning desire or strong opinion on the subject either way. But, that kind of illustrates the asymmetric nature of these kinds of debates — the pro-licensure side consists of people who have their licenses, benefit to some degree from the restriction in competition, and probably regard it as a matter of pride; not to mention the folks who sell the education and training necessary to get the license.

    On the other side, you have a disorganized public who probably pays only slightly more for the service and maybe the people who want to be but who are not yet members of the profession — whose disgruntlement at the licensure requirements will probably fade rapidly once they qualify. Point being, the anti-licensure side is typically bringing a knife to a gun fight. As the Aesop fable goes (to mix my metaphors), the pro side is running for its life while the anti side is merely running for its lunch.

  7. Karen says

    Don’t you find it interesting that the people opposing the deregulation of hairdressers, manicurists, etc. are the majority of persons who purchase these services, i.e., women? As a customer of cosmetologists everywhere (and the older I get the more I need), I cannot believe the legislature is considering the deregulation of cosmetology services.

    I can only assume that Rep. Wolkins (male) has no idea of the various ways that women can be injured. For example, not only can a woman have her hair ruined by an inept hairdresser but if the stylist does not know how to properly mix bleaching solutions, a client can also be injured. Without proper training, a manicurist could gouge a client, etc. In other words, without deregulation, the clients become the means by which a cosmetologist educates herself/himself literally “hands-on” because there would be no other requirement.

    Without a licensure process, anyone can proclaim themselves to be a hair dresser or manicurist. The mere fact that they hang a certificate on the wall that they could have gotten from an internet school without being required to actually learn something, does nothing to protect us.

    I would suggest that Rep. Wolkins indulge in a few of these services so he can see the personal and intimate nature of what is involved. A bikini wax, hair coloring, pedicure and manicure, etc. would let him see firsthand that being a cosmetologist is far more involved then he thinks. Perhaps he would be less condescending in believing that these services could be performed by any unlicensed person.

  8. says

    You always need to think about who benefits from legislation. Who benefits from professional licensing legislation?

    Do consumers benefit? On the whole, I don’t think so. Yes, perhaps it would suck to get a bad haircut, but that is only going to happen to a few folks, and they will respond by going to a different barber.

    Maybe an even smaller number will be injured. But we have a judicial system to take care of that.

    Who really benefits from professional regulations? The professions being regulated. They get to create barriers to entry that lessens competition.

    I even take issue with the idea that professional regulation protects the safety of consumers. How many doctors lose their licenses because of mistakes they make? Nearly none. Yet medical mistake are in the top 10 things that kill Americans every year, killing more people than breast cancer or AIDS.

    Keep in mind that I am saying this as a licensed professional engineer. At least with engineering, the licensure is optional.

  9. says

    In my view, there are two separate issues: regulation and licensure. Clearly, you can regulate a profession without imposing a requirement that someone be licensed by the state in order to practice it. Licensure laws are primarily about existing players wanting to erect barriers to entry to their field in order to keep their prices high. Cosmetology is a classic example. I’m not familiar with Indiana’s requirement’s specifically, but in many places you are required to have extensive and expensive education to even qualify for a license. There has been much litigation over this around the country, particularly related to things like African hair braiding, which require a cosmetology license in many places even though cosmetology schools teach nothing about it. The requirement to pay for extensive schooling also has a disproportionate affect on the poor, who might otherwise find gainful employment in a profession or even establish their own business. Intuitively, cutting hair doesn’t seem like something that would require such an extensive qualifications process. This isn’t structural engineering.

  10. arlef weaver says

    i’m wondering who the hell is going to reimberse me for all the money i spent on getting my license? Has anyone asked those questions? i am also a member of a labor union this has the real possibillity to pass as with the “right to work garbage”.indiana law makers are not looking at the money these licenses bring in nor the fact that this is for some the only form of income maintaining indiana families.

  11. Zach Adamson says

    Cosmetologists are licensed because we are trained in our trade. We are licensed because insisting on a license is VASTLY cheaper than the constant monitoring that would have to take place if we weren’t. Specific health and safety procedures are in place and PRACTICE even when there is no one looking because we are TRAINED in our field. The license helps make sure we’ve been trained in the field. It says NOTHING about our skill. The risk to going to an unlicensed hairdresser is far more serious than getting an ugly hair cut or a hideous hair color. We use ammonium thioglycolate to break open the cuticle, breaks down the disulfide linkages between the polypeptide bonds in the keratin (the protein structure) in the hair to reshape it. A chemical strong enough to do that, imagine what it feels like in your eye. What would happen if its not rinsed out properly. Elastic bands resting on hair during a perm can break the hair off at the point of contact. Go in for a perm, come out with chemical burns on your eyes and a buzz hair cut. Not to mention if the solution runs down your back.
    Perm solution is still not the most dangerous product we use. The bleaching agents mixed with various levels of hydrogen peroxide ranging from fairly mild 10 volume to severe burning 40 and 50 volume. Again, not only do you risk destroying your hair, you risk serious injury.
    Regulation of the hair industry is far more than even all this.
    Lice, scabies and other parasites, molds, flesh eating bacteria and fungus. All very contagious and can be very serious medical conditions.
    The professional licensing board not only monitors the cosmetologist, but also the salon. The salon has to have a licence to make sure they meet the standard of close public contact.
    This may seem to over reaching government until you look back into history at the rate lice and other rapidly transmitted afflictions reached epidemic levels in no time flat.
    There is, to my knowledge, no state where this industry is not regulated. And for good reason.

  12. says

    indiana law makers are not looking at the money these licenses bring in nor the fact that this is for some the only form of income maintaining indiana families.

    What about your customers and their incomes? Licensure is a zero sum game. What you extract as higher wages due to the lowered level of competition due to licensure is taken out of the earnings of your customers, many of whom are poor.

  13. lynn says

    if a client cant afford a haircut they wait , we dont force them into recieving their services. they choose to come to us rather than buy a pair of shears at walmart or buying that box of color at cvs…. they choose to come to us because we were trained very well and the state and the educational facility we attended says that we are knowlegable in the proper procedures to get the desired results, our liscense is important to us and I can bet that almost all people liscensed in the barber/ beauty cluture field would sign a petiton stating this …

  14. says

    If there are dangerous chemicals involved in hairdressing, then regulate or license that, rather than a catchall cosmetology license. I cut my own hair with clippers for years and now use a razor to stay slick. Certainly basics like that don’t require extensive training.

    • Samantha says

      First of all, your tone is condescending out of your ignorance of the industry, obviously if you haven’t received a range of services then it seems high handed to discount the legitimacy of cosemetology simply because it isn’t a math-related field.
      Secondly, if one is seeking an easy, basic service, that person can usually get it for a low price at a Great Clips type of salon or do it him/herself. Prices can hardly go lower at bargain bin salons. The universal effect, however, will be regarding the safety of clients and the danger of infectious diseases. It’s easy to say that injuries will be taken care of via litigation unless you are the person blinded by chemicals or with permanent scalp burns and hair loss or even the person to contract something as life altering as HIV due to unsanitary practices. Ultimately wouldn’t it cost the public more to sue for all instances of injury rather than just ensuring the people performing the services are trained in proper sanitation and procedure?

  15. Leslie Roste says

    Working as a healthcare provider specializing in Infection Control for many years, I believe the argument for regulation of cosmetology needs to focus on those consumers that are at high risk of illness or injury. Most of us know a breast cancer survivor, a diabetic or an asthmatic, but very few people are aware that all of these people are at much higher risk of infection/injury…sadly, most of these consumers are unaware of their increased risk as well. The breast cancer survivor doesn’t know to tell her manicurist that she is at increased risk for debilitating lymphedema. Most diabetics are clinically diabetic for 5 years prior to diagnosis and every medication given to control asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and any type of inflammatory response reduce the immune response, making those clients at additional risk. All of that said, my concern is for that consumer who doesn’t know their risk, doesn’t know what to ask and is put in harms way by an unregulated industry where things like MRSA and Hepatitis are very real risks.

  16. Janelle says

    People that think the cosmetology industry does not need regulation only show there ignorance of what our industry is really all about.

  17. MamaDuck says

    It’s amazing to think about the impact this is going to have if it goes through. I am a licensed cosmotologist. Have been for 12 years. I own a salon. I will say I am petrified!! The current competition of LICENSED hairstylists is overwhelming. Staying competitive but still able to make a decent living. This will kill us. We will be undercut to the bone. I can’t survive charging 5 dollars for a haircut. Even if I did there would be someone to do it for 3. I have taken pride in my license. It was an accomplishment. Now it will mean nothing. I wouldn’t even want to call myself a hairstylist because it wouldn’t mean ANYTHING. I would probably just go work at McDonalds because with the rediculous amout of competiton I would probably earn more there. You have to think about it. I don’t have a pension. I don’t have health insurance. I don’t have 401k. I don’t have unemployment. That’s why haircuts cost a bit more with licensed people because they have standards for themselves. When you go to someone who is licensed you are going to someone who cared enough about themselves to go the extra mile. Beauty school was a form of torture, but I did it to better my life and to learn a trade. Now anyone would be able to do that. It makes me sad and I want to cry even as I am writing this. If this passes it will very likely cause me to close my salon doors and search for a new job. I will not reduce myself to offering haircuts on the corner with a tin cup by my side. I am better than that. If you think that’s not what this is coming to, think again.

  18. jenny heckathorne says

    I have been a cosmetologist for 18 years, went to a year of beauty school and endless hours of continuing education. I find it demeaning to myself,all hairstylist and the profession itself that you consider my PROFESSION is the same as some burger job. I went to school and learned this skill. I think this is a serious mistake. And i”m sure there are some hairstylists in you district come election time. jenny heckathorne

  19. J Taj Bozeman says

    Most of these arguments don’t make a lot of sense to me. Being licensed doesn’t inherently make a person proficient or even qualified at all, for that matter. I’m sure we can find a number of examples of supposedly well-trained professionals who are licensed and have gone through the requisite requirements who have, nonetheless, harmed someone in a salon. It just doesn’t necessarily follow that a license means you’re good at what you do. No more than having a college degree guarantees you’re proficient in the field you chose to study, because we all know that’s a laugh.

    The UK has no licensing requirements for any of these things, and there’s no chaos over there. The nation isn’t filled with madmen chemically burning people on the streets or millions with terrible haircuts. So, we know that there’s little evidence that deregulation means harm to the consumers.

    There are all sorts of professions that require no license, and we know who to trust and who not to trust fairly well- word of mouth is actually pretty amazing. Bad companies who screw things up will be forced out of the market.

    It seems to me the only people opposing deregulation, as previously mentioned by several here, are those who are in the business now and stand to lose financially if the bill becomes law. So what? Being fearful of competition or losing students isn’t a good reason to oppose a law. Laws should be based on what is best for society and its members not on who stands to lose money or clout. Besides, as has also been mentioned, there’s no reason to think most people will stop attending beauty schools or gaining experience or training. It makes sense that most people will continue doing things the same way in order to bolster their resume or prove their companies are better than the guy next door who has an untrained staff and reports of harming customers.

    • lisa says

      i merely wish that politicians would listen to these responses. i am not a licensed cosmetologist, and the mere idea of me going to an unlicensed professional gives me a sickening feeling. i notice that this bill includes other professions besides cosmetology. while this board is sticking to the hair profession, frankly, the whole nature of the bill strikes me as a politician who did little to no research on this idea.

    • kristina says

      We as cosmetologist also know a lot more than everyone thinks, as far as how a metal and bleach can not be touched or it could cause a chemical reaction, some people wouldn’t think twice when they went to mix their formula with a metal whisk. There is too much to say and I am in a hurry to leave, but the simple things you DON”T know about are actually serious things that we DO.

      • kristina says

        Oh and p.s. I have a client that was born and raised in the UK and she previously told me that they can not do good hair there, and that is probably why.

    • IM says

      I totally agree with you J Taj on all points and I will add a few things:
      Most cosmetologists in the USA are against repealing licensing only because we were fed alarming, fearful information from our cosmetology school. Cosmetologists need rational, logical information on the issue and all they have heard so far is emotional and fear-based. Bring the issue up in a salon and you will be treated like a traitor/terrorist (to all the readers here: if don’t believe me – try it and see for yourself).
      Most cosmetologists are female and the income is low (read IRS tax statistics). When I was working full-time, I was one of the busiest and most popular hairdressers in a large salon, I dressed well (store discount), my hair, nails and make-up looked great, yet I was making $8,000 a year with no health benefits. Finally, after almost ten years of working full-time, I earned $13,000 a year. My clients assumed I was making at least $40,000 a year (early Nineties) and out of embarrassment, I would have never admitted otherwise. I know what the other hairstylists made because our weekly incomes were posted in our break room – and they were making less than me. I have heard co-workers brag to their clients about their great incomes while I knew exactly how little they were making (it’s a profession of illusion). Our tips were spent on lunch in the mall – the income from tips was not much either. The salon keeps 50% to 70% of whatever you pay your stylist. If her chair is empty she is paid nothing usually.
      At the moment I would love to have a PT hairdressing job so I could earn a couple hundred a week but here is my problem: Even though I have had a California license since 1983 (1600 hours in cosmetology school), I moved to Oregon where the license requirement is 2400 hours (yes, each state has different rules, fees, hours!), so to work as a hairdresser I would have had to pay for more school, travelled to testing cities, and pay many more fees in addition to my hotel costs. Then I moved to New Mexico and the reciprocity fee is $150 which I cannot afford even after living here two years (no one hires middle-aged women for any job especially during a recession). I also researched Colorado’s licensing, and because I don’t have 400 hours verifiable working experience within the last five years, I would need to move to Colorado first without a job lined up, and take the $110 written test in a testing city (state board told me that price will increase soon).
      That is just a sampling of the inane laws and rules from my experience of four states – and from what I have read online from confused hairdressers posts, all the states have similar wacky and differing rules. I cannot work legally as a hairdresser. I cannot take my scissors to your hair even for one little snip. I would love to see cosmetologists unite politically and ditch the schools (no one learns anything useful in beauty school unless it’s a rare top-notch school), and to go into apprenticeships (which are currently legal forms of education but that option is almost unknown). There is no one representing the individual hairstylist (the state boards and schools advocate and lobby for themselves) – she has no retirement, no health insurance (ours cost $3,000 a year on a $10,000 income so no one bought it), and no one to advocate for her because she is not a political force. By the time she’s 40, she might have carpal tunnel, varicose veins, asthma, heel spurs, and cancer from the chemicals, not to mention the miscarriages she has had (seems like this happens to manicurists a lot).

      The important public health rules pertain to sanitation and those can be learned and updated in one 6 hour Saturday class without attending full-time school for a year.

  20. Samantha says

    Also, I just don’t understand who will benefit from the deregulation of salons. The consumer seeking cheap services has those already available. The client seeking more complicated services probably wants them done by a capable person and thus is willing to pay more. Won’t this still be the case? Won’t those who have completed cosmetology school still charge more for the complicated chemical services? Won’t cheap services still be iffy? The only difference to me is the increased risks to clients, the likelihood of people misrepresenting themselves as trained, the negative monetary impact on salons (and the stylists who already are lucky if they make enough to reach the middle class) once the market is inundated due to the lack of license restrictions, and the revenue the state loses by eliminating licensing.

  21. LisaZ says

    Just a heads up, Doug, my grammar is usually very good, my spelling almost always perfect, but the truth is, I’ve never been secure about my punctuation. Having said that, and being a cosmetologist, I’m embarrassed by some of the posts I’ve read from peers since this bill came out. Spell check, people!

    I agree, people will still come to you if you’re good at what you do, play well with others and charge fairly. Clients have a relationship with you over the years, and they’re not likely to change that over a few bucks. If they do change, they may have been looking for a reason anyway.

    Just because you’re licensed doesn’t mean you’re a good hairdresser. Consequently, plenty of people who’ve never been to school are naturals. If you’re really good, dedicated and reliable, clients will come, stay & refer their friends. You’ll do well and make a great living. If you’re not, people won’t come back and you’ll give up because you can’t pay your bills.

    I do worry about the health aspect. Yes, infections, fungus and any number of nasty things like lice and dandruff that can go from one client to the next on a comb, brush, nipper or file. Worst case scenario it can be life threatening but let’s be honest, not usually. No need for drama. It can be bad though, and a case of nail fungus will stay with you the rest of your life. Really. Cancer patients, diabetics, rheumatoid arthritics and people with lowered immune systems have to be careful getting manicures, pedicures and facials. These people react differently to hair color too. Some medication affects color results as well as hair growth. People with little or no training probably don’t know that.

    People who want to might still be able to get an education, but that’s only if it’s profitable for the schools to stay open. Will they be able to charge as much and will people still go? We can still take classes from product manufacturers, but these aren’t comprehensive training for starting out.

    And, now, vanity. I hate to even go here, but I will. It’s probably harder for guys to understand how devastating a bad haircut can be. Yours grows out in a few weeks. A bad haircut takes us longer to grow out than it takes to get a divorce in Indiana. Don’t get me started on bangs that are too short. Oh the horror! Color? Highlights? These can be very bad. If they’re badly done, you’ve wasted a few hours and have to go back. If the color is wrong, that’s a little more complicated. More bleach or color, more damage. If it’s really wrong and the stylist doesn’t know how to fix it you’re, well, in a lot of trouble. What if you have a big meeting or a big date, or OMG class reunion? That can be very, very bad. Ask a wife, girlfriend or sister how she’d feel about any of these.

    Under the vanity category, but a step or two further, is real damage to hair. If you don’t know what you’re doing with color, perms, or relaxers you can break hair at the scalp or burn the scalp. If you don’t know how to do extensions properly you can pull hair out in sections at the root and leave bald spots. And yes, I’ve seen it done. And yes, by licensed cosmetologists. Sure you don’t have to go back if these things happen, and you can take them to civil court, but wouldn’t you like to know that the stylist had training and was licensed? Wouldn’t you think the chances would be lower?

    This profession has struggled with legitimacy for a very long time and I hope proven itself respectable. I believe conscientious stylists, manicurists and estheticians will maintain their education and strive for the best as they’ve always done. But I do believe on the whole standards will be lowered and in the public’s perception the reputation and integrity of the profession would be compromised.

  22. K Olivia says

    Cosmetology and Barbering is more than just cutting hair, which means the risk is more than just a bad haircut. The cost argument is ridiculous. Those who don’t have the resources for salon services are already able to receive extremely cheap services from trained but not yet licensed stylists at beauty and barber schools.
    The mistake I have heard most often, is calculating what a stylist makes by multiplying the cost of a haircut times two haircuts per hour times 30- 40 hours per week- not even close. It’s important to realize, there’s quite a bit of downtime for a stylist, actual hours of performing services vary. The cost of individual services is based on a livable wage for the week. Stylists tend to be paid by one of three methods:
    1. Commission, 40/60 is the most common I have seen. The salon gets the 60% from each service performed to cover overhead expenses. The stylist typically supplies all cutting and styling tools, the salon provides the chemicals for services.
    2. Booth Rental, the stylist is responsible for purchasing ALL supplies and products used (cutting tools, hair products like shampoo and styling products, hot tools like irons and dryers, chemicals used in color and texture services). The stylist does not make a dime until they have made more than the cost for booth rental and supplies (this can easily be upwards of $125.00 per week)
    3. Service Wage, a base pay plus tips (like a server in a restaurant), the stylists usually is only required to provide cutting tools like shears and clippers. This is how the budget salons operate. Since it is a tip based industry they typically pay around minimum wage or less (and usually have terrible working conditions). Lowering the skill level probably could possibly lower the wage even more, but now you have the cosmetology equivalent of a fast food employee- but with access to chemicals. And does anyone honestly believe any savings the salon would receive in wages will go into the customer’s pocket rather than the franchise owner’s?
    The licensure process is there for a reason. It requires classes in virology, chemistry, disease identification and prevention, state board of health requirements for sanitation and safe disposal, muscular manipulation, first aid, and anatomy. As a licensed professional, I know how to properly use a straight razor on skin. I understand which chemicals, mixed improperly, cause severe chemical burns, disfigurement, and permanent hair loss. I know which two relaxers, when mixed together, make a depilatory. The neighbor who is ‘pretty good at doing hair’- do they know?

  23. Rebecca Kirby says

    This deregulation of professional Cosmetologists and Barbers is terribly wrong. Both of these professions take skill and knowledge that is not common place. I don’t think the general public realizes all that we have to learn to preform our profession. We have a lot of medical training on the anatomy of the body and all the 9 systems the body contains. We study the deseases of the nails,skin,hair and what they look like. If somebody has a skin infection that is contageous we know. If it was just somebody hanging a shingle at their home and doing hair cuts they could spread skin desease and infections and not even know it. We are trained professionals and it should stay that way. Think of the millions of dollars wasted on our Barber and Cosmetology school. There are thousands of students in school right now learning our profession. What do they have to show for their schooling if this bill becomes law. This is NOT the right move for Indiana. The state makes a lot of revenue from our licence fees.

  24. Ruby Aydlett says

    I am a Cosmetologist,Instructor and Aesthetician. I have been in this business since 1990. I have paid my dues, and have paid for my renewal of license every 4 years and done these continuing education so that when I teach I can teach to the best of my knowledge. The house bill 1006 is a slap in the face to me and my $39,000 student loan I owe. I did this because I love teaching students how to do hair and skin and be safe about it. I cannot understand how the government can even think about deregulating this license. I have seen students who have been in school come in and want to do hair and have been doing it at home in the kitchen and when they come in the school they have no hair. Because the chemicals they get at Sally and walmart and CVS has burnt there hair to the scalp and left scares from second degree burns. I have seen them blow up maniquin heads because they were experienmenting on manaquins which chemical they know nothing about but used on there household memebers and other people who could did not want to go to a salon because they could get it free from someone off the street. This bill will open up a Hugh amount of lawsuits and maybe even cause permanent scares to our friends and family and even death. You learn basics at school………then you go on to continuing education to learn techniques. Like any other school it cost money to learn this and those that are licensed pay these fees because we want to do what is best for our clients like a Doctor or Lawyer does. We are no different. I think the government can stay out of this. We need jobs not incompetence people who will only ruin us more as a nation. Stop this bill! it is a mockery of our justice system!! VOTE NO ON INDIANA HOUSE BILL 1006 TODAY!!

    • says

      “It’s a mockery of our justice system!!”

      Seriously? I can see being opposed to the policy, but a legislative proposal to reduce government oversight of certain activities doesn’t come anywhere near being “a mockery of our justice system.”

    • steelydanfan says

      It’s hard to take seriously someone who calls herself an “instructor” and apparently considers herself a professional but doesn’t know the difference between “there” and “their,” spells “scar” as “scare,” uses a just-barely-recognizable misspelling of “mannequin,” doesn’t recognize the difference between a noun (“incompetence”) and an adjective (“incompetent”), makes wild claims that have no basis in reality (“it is a mockery of our justice system,” and uses sentence fragments and run-ons with abandon.

  25. tammy says

    As a licensed cosmetologist, I am actually not opposed to this bill being passed. Honestly, I think I am one of few… It really doesnt do much besides make it easier to people to obtain a job. Beauty schools wouldnt lose students. The “new” hairdressers would still go to school to learn their profession, just without the licensing. Distributers and supply houses could still sell their products, and still have them sold in beauty salons and barber shops. There would just be a different way of handling the sales of products, such as documentation of partaking in work in a salon. Its really not as big of a deal as people are making it. Licensing doesnt have to do with whether someone knows what they’re doing or not. I know of many hairdressers who have screwed up in their fields, and obviously they are licensed, otherwise they wouldnt be doing hair. But its not about the piece of paper hanging above your station, its about your knowledge and talent as a hairdresser. So, it doesnt really matter whether you have a license or not, just if youve had the education and knowledge to succeed in your chosen profession.

    A license doesnt make you a good hairdresser, so theres no reason to oppose the bill because of licensing itself. Its a freggin piece of paper, nothing more. Schools will still have students, and products would still be able to be distributed.So whats the big problem???

  26. Christy says

    Enjoyed the read! As a 17 year Professional Stylist, I find it insulting that anyone would think that there is no “real training” needed or a licensing board to govern our industry. It is bad enough that many do not meet Industry Standards as defined by Professional Trade Associations. Thank you for your blog, it is appreciated! Out industry is so thankful that this Bill did not pass into State Legislation!

  27. Blanca Alvarez says

    I’m from California and I just wanted to say I’m really concerned for you guys over there.

    First off who is this guy that cuts his own hair you barely have any hair what makes you an expert on hair cutting because you trim yours at home lol. I think it’s unfortunate that these politicians can belittle what we do so much. Also it’s unfortunate commercials on tv make it look like what we do is so easy, when in fact it’s not. That’s why we have clients, because they don’t trust anyone including themselves. A lot of times they have learned this because they went to the store and bought that box color that made a particular technique look easy, when in fact it’s not or was not even shown correctly on the commercial. Then they call and rely on us to fix it.

    Our young audience is so easily influenced and our older audience should know better especially woman, for some reason their missing the bigger point in all this and you keep avoiding the major real concerns. Plus no ones deserves to be stripped of a license and education that they worked hard to earn, how dare you! I’m sure I could be as smart if not smarter then some of these congress men politicians and lawyers if I choose to, it’s to expensive to become a lawyer and I already spent 20 thousand plus on my cosmetology career. Lets remove what ever qualifies them as professionals so that I can become a lawyer without having to pay for a steep education. I’m sure I could study and read enough books to gain the knowledge, who do these guys think they are.

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