A state representative from Plano has proposed legislation that would eliminate state license requirements for all Texas barbers and cosmetologists. Now, there’s some big concerns about the impact of deregulation.
Passing of the bill means anyone could cut and style hair, or offer manicures and pedicures without having to go to school or getting a license.
It’s a big worry for Rick Morin, Flawless Barber Shop owner.
“(I’m) a bit upset, angry,” said Morin. “Anyone on the streets would be able to get a job at a facility similar to mine.”
As it stands now, future barbers, stylists and cosmetologists are required to undergo 1,500 hours of training. The bill would do away with those hours.
“Who’s to say that you’re going to walk in and a new recruit (or) 17 or 18-year-old student who’s learning under the business owner, who’s not licensed, because it (the bill) passes, bleaches your hair and now you got a quarter size of hair missing from your scalp,” said Morin.
That’s not the only concern. Barbers and cosmetologists say if a bill like this is passed, it could lead to unsafe and unsanitary conditions for their customers.
“There’s blood-borne pathogens,” said Morin. “So in barber school and cosmetology school, they teach you how to maintain those, how to properly and safely control that type of environment.”
Morin, who’s also been a barber instructor for seven years, understands that the bill was passed to create more jobs. But he and his customers all agree the employment opportunities would not outweigh the consequences.
“I don’t think any and everybody should just be able to come in and start a business with no licensing or regulation at all,” said Randy Stubbs, a Flawless Barber Shop customer.
“I think it’s messed up,” said Andrew Cano, another Flawless Barber Shop customer. “I wouldn’t go to anybody without a license for cutting my hair.”
The bill was filed more than a month ago, and is now being reviewed by the Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee.
Meanwhile, opposition to the bill has spread to social media. There’s an online petition called “Kill the Bill.” The goal is to collect 150,000 signatures. Last checked, so far the petition has over 140,000 signatures. The petition was posted about three weeks ago, and can be found here.