The I AM Movement was launched in an effort to bring together licensed industry professionals across the United States. The movement also hopes to send a message to clients, as well as the rest of the industry, that licensed professionals have met all the requirements to ensure competency verified by testing. It is imperative to educate the public on the importance of keeping the beauty industry regulated. We can protect the careers of those who have worked hard to obtain a license, and continue to hold industry standards in the highest regard. The I AM Movement facilitates communication by providing helpful talking points the stylist can share with clients about the risks associated with unlicensed service providers.

Real Members

This month PBA talked with professional stylist and I AM member, Candice, from Scottsdale, AZ. She shared her thoughts on deregulation, education, and licensing. This is the first post in a recurring interview series with salon professionals across the country. Stay tuned for more stylist interviews in this new I AM Movement series!


PBA: Why is it important to be a licensed professional?

Candice:  I understand that doing hair/makeup can come natural to those who have an eye for style but the importance of being a licensed professional goes beyond coloring and cutting. My profession required an education that covered not only the artistic field of cosmetology but also chemistry, biology, history, math, finance and business ownership. I was required to become versed in the repercussions of mixing certain chemicals together for a reaction, the importance of skin diseases and cross contamination, the anatomy of the body and hair, the history of pigment and cutting tools, conversions, formulas and angles, the list goes on. With this education I was tested by the state and am only allowed to obtain a license once I have proven I understand all of these fields. And after I obtained a license from the state I assisted a seasoned stylist as continuous education. It has set a standard as a professional to continue my education to this day. I believe this experience speaks bounds in comparison to someone who has had no formal education doing hair or skin services out of their home. It is not only hazardous to the people getting these services done but also detrimental to professionals like me.


PBA: What would the industry look like if licenses were taken away?

Candice: If licensing was taken away I imagine the standards of the industry would decline. Hair stylists would no longer be required to clean their combs or follow certain procedures when cutting themselves. Estheticians would be able to use the same sticks to wax and the same washcloths for all of their clients. Makeup artists wouldn’t be required to sanitize their brushes in between clients, and nail technicians could use the same callus remover and nail clippers on every client without the proper sanitation. I imagine the spread of bacteria/disease would increase from one client to another. Not only would it be hazardous but the quality of these services would descend. There would be no parameters and no standards.


PBA: Why do you think it’s important for your clients to know you are licensed?

Candice: It is important for my clients to know I am a licensed professional for peace of mind. It is just as important for clients to understand the process of obtaining a license and also what could happen if the state no longer required these standards.


PBA: What is your favorite thing about working in the beauty industry?

Candice: My favorite thing about working in the beauty industry is the daily challenge, being able to be creative, being my own business owner, and of course, my clients!


Spread the Word 

You’ve worked hard for your career, obtained your licensed, and joined the movement-Now spread the word! Educate your clients, friends, and encourage fellow licensed stylists to join. Follow the official I AM Instagram account for news and featured photos from fellow members. PBA knows that as a professional, you take pride in your work space. As an I AM member, your window cling is prominently displayed in your work space, and we’d love to see it. Post it to Instagram and using the hashtag #IAMLICENSED and we’ll feature your image on our feed! Also, be sure to like The Professional Beauty Association on Facebook and stay up to date on all I Am Movement and industry happenings.


  • If you’re an existing I Am member and you’d like your story featured in the PBA Blog, click here.
  • If you’d like to join the I Am Movement and would like to be featured in the PBA Blog, click here.