A Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to reform the cosmetology industry. Should the licensing requirement for makeup artists, eyelash specialists be removed? – The morning call

HARRISBURG — A Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to eliminate government red tape in the state’s beauty salon industry by scrapping licensing requirements for hair braiders, makeup artists and eyelash extension specialists, among others.

In a memo to colleagues this week, York County Republican Rep. Dawn Keefer said overregulation is stifling the industry by forcing “niche beauty professionals” to take many hours of unnecessary classes. and, in doing so, incur a lot of student debt.

By exempting certain specialty categories from licensing requirements, the industry will grow and “consumers will benefit from the wealth of resources,” Keefer wrote.

The concept has fans and detractors.

Lisa Carr, who runs the Impressions hair salon in York County, said she views makeup, lash and braiding specialists as artists whose craft shouldn’t require state licensing.

But Kelli Haeusler, owner of Tease Salon in Lower Macungie Township, said while it might make sense to require fewer hours of training for specialties such as eyelash work and braiding, general shedding licensing and training requirements was “wrong on all counts”. ”

State requirements for licenses vary.

A cosmetologist — one who arranges, cuts, curls, or bleaches hair, among other things — must complete a minimum of 1,250 hours of education at an accredited cosmetology school or have worked as an apprentice for at least 2,000 hours, among other requirements specific.

A natural hair braider, on the other hand, needs 300 hours in the braiding program at an accredited school, among other requirements.

A State Department spokesperson said there are 75,975 active cosmetologist licenses in the state, 13,693 active nail technician licenses and 10,008 active “esthetician” licenses – the license required to work as a makeup artist.

There are only 76 active natural hair braider licenses.

Haeusler said the power of education in his industry was exemplified by the recent high-profile incident where actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on live television during the Oscars.

It happened because Rock made a joke about the shaved head of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia areata, which leaves patchy bald spots.

Knowledge of such conditions, Haeusler said, is the kind of thing specialists learn in school.

Beyond that, she says, lash work is done close to the eyes, which can be damaged.

“I’ve heard horror stories with whippings,” Haeusler said. “I’ve seen people who used Gorilla Glue lose all their eyelashes.”

Katie Hoch, owner of Hoch’s Botanical Beauty Salon & Spa in Allentown, opened her business about a year ago. She had difficulty getting clear information about what was required for certain specialized jobs.

Some specialties don’t require a license, only a school-issued certificate, Hoch said. She said there was a gray area involving “the whole license versus certificate”.

In an interview, Keefer said his proposal was intended to end such confusion.

For example, she says, it’s unclear whether someone who works at a “brushing bar” needs to have a cosmetology license.

According to an early version of his bill, “‘dry styling’ means the practice of shampooing, conditioning, drying, arranging, curling, straightening or styling the hair using only mechanical devices or topical agents, such as hairsprays, balms, oils or serums. He adds that the term includes “the use and styling of hair extensions, hairpieces or wigs and excludes the cutting of hair or the application of dyes, bleach, reactive chemicals, keratin treatments or other preparations to color or alter the structure of the hair”.

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It also makes it clear that the style of brushing is “distinct from the practice of cosmetology”.

Keefer’s memo is the first step toward tabling an actual bill.

Greg Moreland, Pennsylvania director for small business advocacy organization NFIB, said Keefer’s memo seemed logical and the proposal is something NFIB would generally support.

“We would be concerned that the appropriate safety protocols remain, while seeking to refine how these individuals are educated,” he said.

He said there are approximately 164,000 individual business regulations in the state.

“They’ve done a really good job of over-regulating,” Moreland said.

Morning Call Capitol correspondent Ford Turner can be reached at [email protected]

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