Newly proposed legislation could eliminate need for barbers or hairstylist licenses

Politics

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. — Lawmakers may be cutting back on a license to cut. Newly proposed legislature could eliminate the need for hairstylists, cosmetologists, and estheticians to need a license to operate.

“Right now, everybody is angry. We have spent years and tons of thousands of dollars perfecting our craft. We feel like it devalues our industry,” said stylist Amber McDowell from her chair at Kimberly’s Hair Design in Zionsville.”You want to be a plumber? You got to go to school.”

The legislation in question is House Bill 1364, and to say the bill is upsetting stylists and beauticians across the state may be an understatement. In fact, they have formed a petition that has more than 36,000 signatures and counting. They fear the bill will leave customers vulnerable to injury if people aren’t well trained.

“There’s so many things that can go wrong — chemical burns, you can get bleach in someone’s eye, funguses, staph infections, all the things that can be transmitted if the sanitation isn’t done appropriately,” detailed McDowell.

“If [the sheers] just graze you and blood surfaces, if I don’t clean those clippers, and I use them on the next guy, and he gets a small cut, there’s a possibility for blood transfer. You are talking about hepatitis, AIDS, and all kinds of things that can be there.”

The bill itself would require anyone without a license to inform clients before performing any services. They are also required to follow all health and safety procedures.

“No, I wouldn’t,” quickly answered Kimberly’s Hair Design client Laura Judson when asked if she would go to an unlicensed stylist.

“While there are so many talented amateurs out there, there are also a lot of people who have a little bit more confidence in their own ability. You could have someone give you highlights and not know what they are doing — and [then] burn all your hair off. There’s a big difference between my husband getting his hair cut too short that will grow out in two weeks and me having my hair burn off or cut off. That will take me three years to grow out.”

We reached out to the representatives of the legislators who authored and co-sponsored the bill. They are still working to get a response from them on why they proposed the bill. Once they do, we will update this story for you.

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