Well, they’re at it again. For some reason beyond my comprehension, legislators in Missouri are trying to deregulate the Cosmetology industry. 

House Bill 1891 (Cosponsors: Representative Nick Marshall and Representative Ronald Schieber)

HB1891 will deregulate the cosmetology and barber industries in Missouri. 

If passed, this legislation will do the following:
Allow a person to engage in the occupation of cosmetology or operate an establishment or school of cosmetology without a license-Provides that every establishment in which the occupation of cosmetology is practiced may obtain a license from the board-Every establishment which is licensed shall pay to the board an establishment fee for the first three licensed cosmetologists esthetician or manicurists, or apprentices and an additional fee for each additional licensee-Provides that an instructor trainee may, but not be required to, be a licensed cosmetologist, esthetician or manicurist or hold a license as an instructor trainee in cosmetology, esthetics or manicuring

Explain to me the logic behind allowing someone to teach a profession they are not licensed in. Explain to me the reasoning behind deregulating the cosmetology industry during a time when consumers are being made more aware of the huge sanitation issues in salons around the country. Explain to me the benefits of deregulating.

Please. Somebody. Anybody. How about you guys, Rep. Nick Marshall and Rep. Ronald Schieber? Can you provide any insight as to why this bill is even being considered? Do either of you have any experience in the business of cosmetology or any understanding of the industry at all? How about public health? Are either of you knowledgeable about those fields or how our jobs as beauty professionals are directly tied to the health of your citizens?

I want to explain to YOU the reasons why we oppose deregulation of our industry. It’s simple, really.

Unlicensed professionals are responsible for spreading disease and injuring consumers. Anthony Civitano, president of the Hair Design Institute, told CBS News, “When you get into chemical work, or your working with sheers, sharp instruments around somebody else’s body, it’s really very important that you have the proper training and dexterity. This is as serious as going to a doctor that’s not licensed or any other profession,” he said.

And he’s right. Deregulation is the exact opposite of what we need right now.

Don’t believe me?

  • In 2010, a woman suffered chemical burns Kristy Picornell went into a Miami salon to get hair extensions. But what she didn’t know was the woman styling her hair was working without a license. Picornell explained, “When I came out from underneath the dryer, I noticed that my scalp was burning. I had some blistering on the sides of my ear, on my hairline, at the nape of my neck.” She was covered in painful chemical burns. Her hair turned a Creamsicle orange. And as for the extensions, Picornell says they ruined her hair. “The salon apparently used a superglue bonding rather than a bonding solution used for extensions,” she said.
  • In 2006, Kimberly Kay Jackson died in February of a heart attack triggered by a staph infection after her heel was cut with a pumice stone during a July pedicure. She developed an oozing wound that wouldn’t heal despite repeated rounds of antibiotics. This is a direct result of their piss poor sanitation, something that Texas legislators corrected on June 15th the following year with House Bill 2106 which requires all Texas barber and cosmetology shops, salons and schools that provide manicure/pedicure services to sterilize all metal instruments with an autoclave, dry heat, or ultraviolet light sterilizer that is listed with the FDA.
  • In 2006, Jessica Mears died of a mycobacterium infection she obtained during a pedicure at a Mountain View nail salon. The recent years prior, there had been three such bacterial outbreaks reported to the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. The first occurred in 2000 in Santa Cruz County. Santa Clara County was hit in 2004, and in 2005, Contra Costa County experienced an outbreak. The Santa Clara County incidents involved 33 salons and 143 customers. After the 2000 outbreak, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention swabbed 30 footbaths in 18 nail salons from five California counties and found mycobacteria in 97 percent of them. Four days after Jessica’s death, California legislators passed AB 409, an urgency law aimed at protect consumers from unsanitary nail salons. It went into effect immediately. The law directs the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology to immediately suspend any license without advance hearing, if the action is necessary to protect the public health and safety. The following year, California legislators immediately adopted another law requiring more thorough cleaning of foot spa basins.
Every year we hear some salon horror story. And I know what you’re going to say–but these injuries are often caused by licensed professionals. 
That is my point. The problem isn’t just unlicensed professionals. The problem is a lack of regulation, failure to enforce existing regulations, and pathetic licensing requirements. Now is the time to require more education, not eliminate it altogether. It is the time to impose stricter penalties for violations. It is the time to enact harsher, more specific laws. See what I’m getting at?

It is time for more regulation, not less.

Licensed salon professionals, health professionals, and consumers struggle to stop unlicensed activity and the spread of disease by the untrained individuals practicing illegally. We fight to ensure the safety of our clients, our families, and our neighbors by requesting more regulation and demanding that our Cosmetology Boards and Health Departments hold violators responsible. You should be working with us, not against us. 


Educate yourselves on the issues. I guarantee that once you’ve done so, you won’t be so eager to deregulate your state.


Professionals, sign the PBA’s petition to put a stop to this. You can use their form letter or write in whatever you want. Either way, let them know that you’re not happy about it and you won’t stand for it. We have to fight this together.

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