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Last updated: December 13, 2017

Deregulating Beauty Licenses: What Do You Think?

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We recently published an article about the different ways cosmetology licensing could change in the future. The most alarming update was the news that many states are trying to deregulate cosmetology licenses—meaning anyone who wanted to be a hairdresser could simply be one without any training requirements. And while the possibility of deregulation is still just that—a possibility—we wanted to know your thoughts on the matter.


Plenty of you sounded off about the injustice of deregulation—what it would mean for current licensed cosmetologists, their clients and trade professions in general. But since there are two sides to every coin, there were also many stylists who commented that it wouldn’t be ALL bad. Find out what your fellow stylists had to say below.



Worst Idea Ever
“After having a 600% increase to maintain my license, I would find it OFFENSIVE to just let anybody do it. If they do that…I want to see a HUGE pay increase for people WITH their license.” – Vikki Sterks


Are they going to let people do mechanics, carpentry, engineering without licenses? This is a trade like any other and needs to be respected as such. If you’re going to deregulate one, deregulate them all, because you could use the barricade excuse anywhere. Stand up for your craft, American stylists!” – Bren Whyte


“The real ‘losers’ in this scenario are the clients who will be paying someone with subpar education. I don’t think it would be in any future hairstylist’s interest to deregulate our licensing process. The more undereducated our industry gets, the more fixes and mistrust clients will have for the ‘good’ hairstylist.” – Kristina Gumble


“After committing 2+ years getting my license, not to mention the cost for school and supplies, the cost to renew the license and retake the tests because I changed states…I would be angry at this choice. I think all trades need licensing. Would you want someone off the street building your home? Or doing electrical work without a license? I realize its ‘just hair,’ but there is a lot of information taught in school that is somewhat important to know in order to not totally destroy someone’s hair.” – Aubrey Jensen Lofthouse


“Just based off of sanitary regulations and working with aggressive chemicals, this is the worst idea ever! You absolutely need training and continuing education to be in this industry.” – Leahanne Braydich


“What’s next, anyone can be a doctor? Let’s be realistic! Just because you think you know how to do something doesn’t mean you can. I have fixed many a mistake from kitchen hairdressers. That is exactly why people take the time to get properly trained.” – Teri Greene Mckenzie


“Why is this happening?! I know I did not bust my ass to get through school and pay it off just to see these kitchen beauticians think they are my equal! How do we get involved and take a stand?!” – Sara Rose



It Wouldn’t Be the End of the World
“In the U.K., no stylist has ever needed a license to work. I personally think we should, but I can’t see that it’s made any difference to our industry either. You need your qualification to gain insurance, so someone without that can’t have insurance, and I’ve never heard of anyone seeing an unqualified ‘hairdresser,’ although I’m sure it has happened. And like many of you say, we have to correct the work of many ‘qualified’ stylists anyway.” – Jamie McDermott


“I believe we need to be licensed, but most cosmetology schools are a joke. I learned enough to pass state boards, but honestly don’t see that being worth the $15,000 I paid for it. Most salons make you apprentice for a minimum of six months anyway. Doing an apprenticeship should outweigh paying thousands of dollars for school.” – Kim Golubski


“This isn’t a bad thing. Don’t worry about bad hairdressers. If you go to work and you kick ass every day, then that’s all that matters.” – Jacob E. Paquette


“Here in Holland, no licenses are required. Anybody can open a salon or work in a salon…and they do. But like someone commented, even licensed hairdressers screw up. This profession is all about education and motivation, and that’s totally up to you. There is life after beauty school (which isn’t sufficient anyway). Keep yourself educated—year after year after year.” – Mirjam Bouwels 


“Where I live it happens anyway. While it’s a shame for the consumer, it doesn’t bother me too much. I get a lot of color corrections. I advertise my license and continuing education and charge appropriately. The crap you learn in beauty school was a joke. Owners of salons control how they want things done.” – Donna Jamison-Heffner  


“Our province has been deregulated for 10+ years. No reputable salon will hire anyone without a diploma from cosmetology school where the student has completed 1,500 theory and practical hours toward either hair design or esthetics. It’s not a free-for-all as one might think. If it happens in your area, you can still organize beauty councils and keep salons and stylists connected. Also, beauty suppliers will not sell to anyone without a recognized diploma. So there are still checks and balances! Do not fear!” – Arlene Brookall


What do you think? Share your thoughts here!