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New Bill May Change License Requirements for Ohio Cosmetologists

Published: Jun 18, 2018 by James McGovern

The Ohio legislature is considering a sweeping overhaul to the licensing process for the state’s cosmetologists. House Bill 189 and Senate Bill 129, which have yet to pass, aim to implement the following changes to the industry:

  • Move from schools to apprenticeships–Following the model of states like Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Alabama, Ohio would encourage prospective cosmetologists to accumulate their education hours while working as an apprentice in a salon, instead of attending a formal school.
  • Reduction in education hours–The education requirement for a cosmetology license would be reduced from 1,500 hours to 1,000 hours. Esthetician licenses for skin care professionals would see the education hours reduced from 600 hours to 300. The manicure license requirement would drop from 300 hours to 100 hours.
  • Elimination of advanced licenses–Advanced licenses would no longer be mandatory for cosmetologists specializing in natural hairstyle or nail and skin care.
  • Allow license reciprocity–If you hold a license in another state, it would become easier to practice in Ohio. Previously, many out-of-staters found the process of gaining professional recognition in Ohio so difficult that they chose to practice illegally

This legislation is the focus of a debate between the Ohio Salon Association and the Salon Schools Group. The cosmetology educators are worried that the state is watering down the license, while the professional association believes that overhauling the cosmetology licensing process is necessary for the industry’s continued prosperity.

Ohio Cosmetology Schools Resist Licensing Changes

Please make a reference to the source of the quote, like According to [source],For Sue Carter More, the president of the Salon Schools Group, what’s most important is ensuring that future cosmetology practitioners are given the tools to succeed in their profession. And according to Moore, the best path is a good education: I will put our 1,500 and 1,800-hour education up against anybody in the United States, we teach complete cosmetology. A reduction in hours means a reduction in the education, and thus the skills of budding cosmetology professionals.

Moore does not believe an equivalent education can be obtained under the apprenticeship model. Cosmetology schools are able to offer real first-hand experience to its students, but apprentices usually work as assistants in salons, a role that limits their responsibility and autonomy. Graduates of beauty schools enter the workforce with confidence, and are able to start their own businesses instead of signing an agreement with an existing salon.

Cynics might point to the fact that it would be in Moore’s interest to keep students in her schools for more hours, which would result in more income. But supporters of the apprenticeship model are acting out of self-interest too: the new licensing scheme can be seen as a means for existing salons to limit competition from newcomers by forcing new talent to emerge from within their own ranks.

The Ohio Salon Association Wants to Change Licensing Standards to Better Meet Demand

Elizabeth Murch of the Ohio Salon Association supports the new legislative package for changing Ohio’s cosmetology licensing scheme. She claims that the argument over education hours is beside the point. According to her, the main crisis is that schools are closing; the Dayton area has been hit significantly with school closures which then provides difficulty for any salon to find qualified individuals to work.

Murch also believes that the state’s regulatory power over cosmetologists should only extend to safety and sanitation–topics that are more than adequately covered by a 1,000-hour course. The state has no business requiring more education hours if those hours are devoted primarily to subjective, esthetic topics. As she puts it: We cannot legislate a good haircut.

At Graff & McGovern, we are passionate about helping Ohio professionals succeed in their industries. To this end, we stay abreast of any legal or regulatory development that might affect our current or future clients. If you are an Ohio cosmetologist in need of representation before the Ohio Board of Cosmetology, we can help.

Call us today at (614) 228-5800 to schedule your consultation.