697a4f136a9f3866dd51 christoffer engstrom 189365 unsplash

When it comes to earning your cosmetology license, every hair stylist knows how much time, effort and energy go into it and the importance of it. You learn everything from how to cut and color clients, to learning safety and sanitary practices for the salon. The process of getting your cosmetology license takes you through each step from start to finish and gives everyone an equal starting ground. Much like studying to become a doctor or a lawyer, it requires you to pass certain tests before being able to practice. This not only gives the practitioner a sense of confidence but also gives clients peace of mind that they are in good hands!

The cosmetology license process has always been an important standard within the industry and continues to be so, which is why it is so important to educate yourself and others on current legislation being promoted in Texas that would deregulate the cosmetology and barbering licensing process there.

Texas House Bill 1705 would completely abolish the regulation of cosmetology and barbering in the state. This was assigned to the House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures.

We find this to be an imperative Bill to oppose, as does the PBA. The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) and its members oppose deregulation and are urging Texas state committee members to oppose HB 1705. If passed, the Bill, filed by Texas State Representative Matt Shaheen, District 66, would put consumers at risk of infection or injury from unsafe and unsanitary practices, and leave professionals at risk of significant financial liability if a customer took legal action following an injury.

“Deregulation of cosmetology and barbering exposes consumers to significant health and safety risks and would remove formal complaint processes if they were to be injured or infected during a service,” said Steve Sleeper, PBA Executive Director. “Further, without regulation, many service providers would not be able to obtain liability insurance, leaving the provider financially liable if a customer took legal action following an injury during a service. The passage of this Bill would be detrimental to both consumers and professionals in Texas and would set a dangerous precedent for lawmakers in other states wanting to pass similar legislation.”

Cosmetology and barbering are currently regulated in all 50 states. Like all industry professionals across the U.S., Texas cosmetologists and barbers are currently required to be trained to utilize chemicals and tools safely to avoid injuries and the spread of infectious diseases such as: burns, hair damage and loss, ringworm, and staph infections. They are also held accountable with oversight from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

“As a salon owner with 4 locations in and around San Antonio, we employ 80 licensed cosmetologists. Our consumers expect a level of safety and standards that regulations help to ensure. Like the medical industry, the cosmetology industry is licensed to touch, safely and without concerns of uneducated persons applying harmful chemicals in the wrong order or potency. It is truly a scary thought what could happen to the public,” explains Holly Thalman, owner of KCharles Salons in San Antonio, Texas.

Texas has a thriving salon industry economy: generating almost $5 billion in annual sales and providing employment opportunities to well over 30,000 individuals. Between 2006-2016, the industry grew 22% in contrast to the state's 19% private sector growth that took place during that same decade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the salon industry is poised to grow another 13% between 2016-2026.

This means not more than ever we need to protect our industry and protect ourselves. For more information and to take action to urge Texas committee members to oppose HB 1705, visit https://probeauty.org/advocacy/