Pickens Cosmetology Pathway: Will Deregulation Help or Hurt?

The Cosmetology department at Pickens Technical College is a pathway to a lucrative, rewarding career in the skin, nails, and hair industry. Pickens’ Cosmetology courses are scheduled and built to get you ready for certification with the state’s beauty industry regulatory body.

Right now, in Colorado, there is no sign of deregulation in the hair, skin, and nails industry. You will still need to acquire certification to be a cosmetologist. All barbers and salon artists will need to be licensed in order to work in the industry for the foreseeable future. But, deregulation pushes in three other states raise questions about the future of hair cutters, nail artists, hair stylers, and others in the cosmetology industry. First question: does deregulation help or hurt the industry?

There are three major deregulation pushes in three states at the moment.

Florida

In Florida, the state legislature is considering cutting the required number of hours cosmetologists need to practice before they can be licensed in half. The current requirement is 1,200 hours. Florida is already a magnet for cosmetology professionals because it already has some of the lowest requirements for licensure in the US.

Proponents of the licensure hours cuts claim this will help more people get jobs and allow businesses to hire the staff they need without encumbrances. Opponents believe the new rules will hurt the industry by forcing each cosmetology business to create their own standards and train new employees on them.

Texas

In central Texas, barbers and salon owners are banding together to protest a state bill that would eliminate all state licensing requirements for those professions altogether. As it stands, Texas cosmetology workers are required to complete 1,500 hours of training. The protestors agree that eliminating all licensure requirements for this industry would be a burden not only to small businesses and those they employ, but also customers, who could be walking into unsafe barber shops staffed by unqualified workers.

Arizona

In Arizona, legislation is progressing more swiftly. A bill eliminating most licensure requirements for cosmetologists was passed in April. As of April 10th, 2019, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is preparing to sign the bill into law. Barring some kind of radical about-face by Ducey, you won’t need a license to wash, dry, and style someone’s hair in the state of Arizona. The law stops short of barbers, who will still need licenses to work.

Arizona already has passed some deregulation bills that make it easier for hair braiders, eyebrow pluckers, and other more specialized beauty industry workers to get jobs by eliminating licenses. Ducey and Republican lawmakers in Arizona’s state capitol lauded the licensure elimination effort because it allows more people the right to find jobs and work in a field they’re passionate about.

Get Certified Anyway

Colorado, a state in which all three branches of government are controlled by Democrats, is unlikely to pass or consider legislation similar to Arizona, Texas, and Florida. But the push to deregulate the industry should be at least mildly alarming to students earning their cosmetology license. Even if you decide to move to Texas, Arizona, or Florida at any point, you’ll still need the skills and competencies you’ve earned at Pickens.

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