Cosmetologists Protest As Bill Over Licensing Advances

Jan 31, 2021, 11:37 PM | Updated: Dec 23, 2022, 10:33 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Dozens of Utah cosmetologists gathered in Washington Square to protest against Senate Bill 87 which argues whether shampooing, blow-drying and styling hair should require a cosmetology license.

S.B. 87 continues to progress in this year’s legislative session. A revised version of the bill passed the Senate on Friday and is now in the House, and that has cosmetologists worried. 

“It’s just unfortunate that people don’t see the value in that,” said Kathy Lynch, a hair stylist from Lindon who works in TV and film. “It isn’t a simple thing that we do.”

Lynch has been a licensed cosmetologist for 35 years. She said S.B. 87 poses a threat to her profession.

Hundreds of other Utah cosmetologists agree, and on Sunday, about 50 of them rallied on Washington Square in protest.

“I just feel like in an industry where human contact comes into play all day long, especially during a worldwide pandemic, why would we lessen regulation or even consider it?” Lynch said.

The bill would allow people without a cosmetology license to wash, dry, style and use hot tools on hair as long as their business posts a sign saying they aren’t licensed. They would not be able to cut, color, perm or use other chemicals.

Lynch argued there’s still a safety issue.

“If there isn’t a license or a body that is regulating that, who are those people going to go to when their scalp is burned or their hair falls off because of a treatment they were given by somebody who was not trained?” she said.

The bill’s sponsors said the proposal isn’t meant as an attack against hairstylists, but seeks to implement an executive order from Governor Spencer Cox to look into licensing laws and cut down on excess regulations.

Lynch hopes it’s not too late.

“I just think that if there are any of our legislative representatives, our senators, those people who are going to be voting on this now that it’s been passed into the House, that there’s things they need to consider and do a little research,” said the licensed cosmetologist.

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Cosmetologists Protest As Bill Over Licensing Advances