When it comes to the business of beauty, most of us are particular about who's chair we sit in. Some would say beauty takes practice, but how much practice?
That's the question the Texas House panel is debating. The House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee heard House Bill 2407 by state Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth. House bill 2407 is a proposal that would clip the amount of time it takes to get a cosmetology license.
Currently, hair stylists must complete 1,500 hours before receiving their license. However, preparing yourself for the professional practice of cosmetology could soon be done in just 1,000 hours.
More than 30 people testified on HB 2407 during the hearing, with several hairstylists and advocates arguing against the proposal. For many involved in the industry, cutting back on the hours of education needed to get a cosmetology license means less confident, less qualified beauticians.
Ambrose Gonzales, Atelier Salon owner, says for him, it raises concern.
"Once they graduate with only one thousand hours, they won't have the necessary skills to be successful in the workforce due to the reduced hours," he said.
However, even Gonzales admits that the idea is not without precedent. He says it only seems fair.
"In the state of Texas, some high schools currently, already, have the thousand hour program," he said.
Today, students at more than 170 Texas high schools can enroll in a full cosmetology program through their school and complete all necessary requirements — including passing the industry exam and getting their license — in 1,000 hours.
If the student waits until after graduation to enroll in the same cosmetology course offered by the same professional institute, they will cover the same material and pass the same exam in 1,500 hours, Goldman said. He said requiring 1,000 hours instead would allow cosmetologists to join the workforce much faster, and argued that there’s no noticeable difference in skills or wages from cosmetologists who receive more hours of training.
Gonzales agrees. He says, he is ready to help brush out any kinks in the system as a way to put more people in the work force and we could get more people in the door.
The bill has been filed and is now pending in the house committee.