All licensed beauty professionals can agree that the health and safety of clients is a major priority. The unfortunate and frightening truth is that there is an “underground economy” of unlicensed individuals knowingly offering services to the public, ranging from haircuts, manicures and pedicures, to facials and chemical peels, without the proper training, education and certifications. Often setting up shop in their homes, hotels and other public places, these unlicensed individuals attempt to give the appearance of being a licensed professional while consumers don’t even know this is happening or what the health and safety risks are.
Each state in the U.S. regulates cosmetology and has laws in place to protect the public. While these laws are incredibly important to protect consumer health and safety, the problem lies in the ability to fully enforce these laws. State boards are in place to assist in regulating the industry by ensuring professionals are educated, have passed required exams and have a license. Problems arise when state boards must rely on their attorney’s office to enforce fines or bring charges against an unlicensed individual. In addition, an even bigger challenge is to find these unlicensed individuals and trust them to actually stop offering services and violating the law.
Most people outside of the industry don’t know what it takes to actually become licensed. From completing hundreds of hours of education and training and passing a state-regulated exam, licensed professionals take care in knowing they are protecting people from potential harm.
As the beauty professionals fight to keep industry regulation and licensing, eliminating chances of unlicensed individuals putting the public at a health risk, many go unnoticed and continue providing services under the guise of being licensed. While professionals believe these people are undermining the pride and professionalism of the beauty industry, many are not speaking up and educating consumers on why they should ask if their service provider is licensed.
Be proud of your profession! Join the movement!
The Professional Beauty Association’s Advocacy group has started the “I Am A Professional. I Am Licensed.” movement. This campaign was developed to allow beauty industry professionals to show their pride for their profession and give them the power to educate their clients. To join the movement, go to probeauty.org/iam to order a free window cling and talking points card.
About PBA Advocacy
The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) advocates for the rights of every member and is dedicated to tracking, introducing and responding to legislation at both the state and federal levels with potential to affect the beauty industry. Along with our Government Advocacy program, PBA provides our members with Education, Signature Events, Charitable Outreach, Research and Business Resources. Visit probeauty.org for more information.