WACO, Texas (KWTX) Some Central Texas cosmetologists, hair stylists and barbers are battling a bill introduced by Texas state Rep. Matt Shaheen, R-Plano, that would eliminate state licensing requirements for those in their professions.
(Photo by John Carroll)
The bill would abolish Title 9 of the Texas Occupations Code, which regulates barbers, cosmetologists and those in related occupations.
"It would be disastrous on so many levels because people not knowing how to cut hair and chemical burns that would come along with that it would be disastrous, a lot of lawsuits I see," said Lorraine Gritten, the owner and operator of the Champions Barber Academy in Waco.
For years, schools such as Gritten's have provided the required 1,500 hours of training for stylists, barbers and cosmetologists.
Fernando Dominguez is studying to be a barber and he's angry over the proposed bill.
"I'm certainly against it because I mean, why would I waste all this money and they take the license away it wouldn't be right."
Gritten says if the bill passes, then anyone could open a salon and health issues could follow.
"If you were getting a shave and you had someone and an experience using a straight razor and blood is drawn they don't know what to do with that, well that's what we teach here."
Lenora Felipe has been teaching future barbers for three decades.
"You know, your exfoliating skin cells daily when you're using your equipment. And when you don't properly clean it you're going to transfer a disease to the next person."
Shaheen, however, says he wrote the bill “to expand employment opportunities by eliminating occupational licenses.”
“Cosmetology is a field in which the consumer can be trusted to seek out the best service provider without any serious risk of harm,” he said in a statement.
“There are several vocations in Texas that pertain to aspects of public safety like car mechanics, personal trainers, and electrologists that are not required by the state to be licensed,” he said.
“Texans looking to improve their lives should face the fewest obstacles possible, and by requiring a cosmetology license, we're creating unnecessary obstacles for those who want to earn a living,” he said.