Cosmetology Deregulation: Are Salon Licences Becoming a Thing of the Past?

Cosmetology Deregulation: Are Salon Licences Becoming a Thing of the Past?

Beauty professionals are under attack as multiple states threaten Cosmetology deregulation. Between the threat of the cut state and federal federal funding for cosmetology students and not needing proper training to legally perform services, the beauty industry is clearly under attack from the “powers” that be. 

In my 30+ years of being a licensed cosmetologist, I have never seen such a chaotic mess… I believe laziness, greed, frustration, tax implications and government involvement are to blame.

But the truth is, no one really understands where this is all coming from or what this means for the future of the cosmetology industry and occupational licensing in general.

beauty industry changes to laws requiring licenses

Table of Contents

cons list of going to an unlicensed beauty professional

What does it mean to deregulate cosmetology & beauty services for consumers?

For consumers, deregulation means your service providers could have little to no proper education on how to perform your services, safely. In simple terms, services like haircuts, waxing, permanent makeup, massage or barbering services will no longer be properly trained, nor have standards for performing services.

If this is a concern for you, before you make a hair appointment with a new barber or stylist ASK these questions:

  • Find out if they went to school and where they attended. Not all schools are created equal and some cosmetologists feel comfortable learning from YouTube.
  • If they didn’t attend school, find out if they had an apprenticeship and who they trained under.
  • Finally, ask if they took a state board exam. This would demonstrate a desire to legalize their education and training

How beauty industry deregulation impacts cosmetology and barbering professionals

For salon professionals, what does the future of barbering and cosmetology mean for your cosmetology license with no licensing requirements? Honestly, the competition will be greater to get new hair clients BUT, think about the severe reduction of cosmetology licensing as the badge you can wear to stand above the rest.

Those who are licensed by the state and trained by beauty schools will become the new higher standard in which clients will utilize in their search for salon services. The deregulation of cosmetology will most certainly bring about a host of problems for customers.

Those untrained for health and safety, staph infections, sanitation, style and don’t qualify for liability insurance will suffer. Just think about the unsanitary practices, chemicals in the wrong hands and the imminent disasters those not properly trained in the cosmetology field will endure.

While we do our best to protect public safety, those who are ignorant to consumer safety or are without a proper cosmetology education, are limited in their growth.

Overall, I believe licensed beauty professionals will triumph over unlicensed industry professionals, regardless of how frustrating and gross pro beauty may become.

photo of unlicenesed cosmetologists performing hair services
why salon product companies don't get involved with cosmetology deregulation issues

Who suffers the most when the state board of cosmetology will remove licensing?

Cosmetology schools and consumers will feel the biggest impact should esthetics and beauty professionals be able to legally operate without a license. The professional beauty association has taken a strong stance against deregulation, stating that this only puts consumers at risk. 

While I agree with keeping what it takes to become a licensed beauty professional in place, I also see this as a space where product companies could have a significant impact.

Why salon product companies don’t get involved in deregulating the professional beauty industry

Georgia, Kansas, Illinois and Michigan are amongst several states that would remove licensure requirements for some or all beauty services.  With as much money as these corporations make, you would think they would support salon licensed professionals in their efforts to protect technical skills from lawmakers.

I have yet to see a shampoo or hair color company oppose deregulation. When you think about it, distributors and product companies should be amongst the lobbyist crowd, fighting against the government’s efforts to completely deregulate beauty services. 

I believe the state’s effort to cut state spending for those who chose a career in the beauty industry should be vehemently opposed, yet we haven’t seen one single corporation step up. We are controlled by inefficient state boards, money hungry salon corporations and government bodies who do not understand our industry.

Product companies do not have your back, they view deregulation as an opportunity to sell more to anyone who decides to practice cosmetology, with or without a license.

Get involved with the house bill and review related articles

Want to propose positive change or keep things as the way they are? Find out more from the PBA and join the committee on licensing and administrative procedures, both nationally and in your state. 

Even without formal education, states should still regulate services outside of non invasive services such as hairstyles or braiding. With the reduction of cosmetology licensing hours, salon owners struggle to properly ready new graduates to perform quality services for their customers.

Fired up about the current requirements that would no longer exist? Get involved to help protect the professionalism and artistry that makes our industry great!

Yours in service,

Susan Wos, Founder of Salonspa Connection

how to fight beauty industry deregulation