According to a recent press release from the Professional Beauty Association (PBA), a current state Shouse Bill could abolish the regulation of cosmetology and barbering in the state of Texas. Assigned to the House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures, if passed, House Bill 1705 would put consumers at risk of infection or possible injury from unsafe and unsanitary practices. It could also leave professionals at risk of significant financial liability if a customer took legal action following an injury.
The PBA and its members oppose deregulation and are urging Texas state committee members to oppose HB 1705.
"Deregulation of cosmetology and barbering exposes consumers to significant health and safety risks and would remove formal complaint processes if they were to be injured or infected during a service," said PBA Executive Director Steve Sleeper. "Without regulation, many service providers would not be able to obtain liability insurance, leaving the provider financially liable if a customer took legal action following an injury during a service."
He continues, "The passage of this bill would be detrimental to both consumers and professionals in Texas and would set a dangerous precedent for lawmakers in other states wanting to pass similar legislation."
Cosmetology and barbering are currently regulated in all 50 states. Like all industry professionals across the U.S., Texas cosmetologists and barbers are presently required to train for utilizing chemicals and tools safely to avoid injuries such as burns, hair damage and loss, and the spread of infectious diseases like ringworm and staph infections. They are also held accountable with oversight from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
"As a salon owner with 4 locations in and around San Antonio, we employ 80 licensed cosmetologists. Our consumers expect a level of safety and standards that regulations help to ensure. Like the medical industry, the cosmetology industry is licensed to touch, safely and without concerns of uneducated persons applying harmful chemicals in the wrong order or potency. It is truly a scary thought what could happen to the public," explains Holly Thalman, owner of KCharles Salons in San Antonio, Texas.
Texas has a thriving salon industry economy. It generates almost $5 billion in annual sales and provides employment opportunities to over 30,000 people. Between 2006-2016, the industry grew 22% in contrast to the state's 19% private sector growth that took place during that same decade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the salon industry is poised to grow another 13% between 2016-2026.
For more information and to take action to urge Texas committee members to oppose HB 1705, visit https://probeauty.org/advocacy/
UPDATE: Texas House Bill 1705, introduced in February, set out to completely deregulate cosmetology and barbering. PBA advocates jumped to action to communicate the importance of licensing in our industry. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Matt Shaheen, did not move forward with the legislation but is working on a study of specialty licenses in the cosmetology field to determine the optimal level of training needed to protect the health and safety of Texans.