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Written by the Professional Beauty Association (PBA)

April 30th is National Hairstylist Appreciation Day, and The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) is celebrating licensed professionals all month long! During the entire month of April PBA is asking licensed professionals across the country to take to social media and show their pride and dedication to this wonderful industry. We're asking everyone to join the conversation across all platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #IAMLICENSED. Show your pride for you license and your profession by posting a 15-second video telling us what being licensed means to you. Be sure to use the hashtag #IAMLICENSED and the "I Am" Instagram account will repost and share!

Working Toward a Solution
In only its second year, the movement has grown from 650 in 2013 to more than 1,800 licensed industry advocates in 2014 taking part in the effort. Upon joining the movement, licensed professionals receive a free window cling to place at their work station and helpful talking points to start the conversation with their clients. The "I Am" movement also aims to empower licensed professionals to approach state lawmakers with confidence when legislation is introduced that would negatively affect our industry.

The Threat
Legislation that would deregulate the cosmetology industry has already been introduced in several states across the U.S. If deregulation were to become a reality, all industry professionals would be affected: service providers and salon owners to manufacturers and distributors. Industry standards would hit an all-time low. Consumers would likely run the greatest risk; being exposed to those who individuals who practice cosmetology without proper training, education and license to prove it. With no regulatory boards or agencies to enforce the laws the safety standards currently upheld through licensing, there would be no one to report violations to. There would be no safety codes to uphold and the threat of spreading diseases and infection-causing bacteria would significantly increase, endangering consumers and professionals. Deregulation would mean stylists and salon owners would not be required to complete the necessary schooling and training, giving untrained individuals free rein to practice cosmetology on the public.

The Future
There is no sign of slowing down for PBA and the "I Am" movement. With the help of the industry and its devoted members, PBA will continue on the mission to educate stylists, manufacturers, distributors, salon owners, politician and the public. We can protect the careers of those who have worked hard and continue to hold industry standards in the highest regard.

About PBA Government Affairs
The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) advocates for the rights of every member and is dedicated to tracking, introducing, and responding to legislation at both the state and federal levels with potential to affect the beauty industry. Visit probeauty.org/advocacy or contact Bridget Sharpe for more information..