Stylists raise concerns over proposed bill that could allow services without a license
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A new bill proposed by Sen. Jeremy England may allow those who do not have a cosmetology license to still be employed at a salon. Those without a license could be allowed to dry, straighten, curl and hair as well as apply eyelash extensions.
The state of Mississippi currently requires 1,500 hours of cosmetology school in order to earn a license. Areas of cosmetology school include hair, skin, and nails.
Sen. Jeremy England said he proposed the bill with an aim toward those who may not be able to afford schooling.
However, the owner of Salon Alexander’s Alexander Deeks said that the health risks aren’t worth it and that education should be prioritized.
“There are grants and programs that are opened up. There are colleges here. MGCCC has a program that offers for hairdressers that give an opportunity to come to a school that’s an accredited school, gets credit for their courses, and grants that support it,” Deeks said.
Ann Marie Walley, owner of Antonian Salon, explained that those who aren’t taught proper sanitization practices are a huge risk during a pandemic.
“What we are highly educated on is sanitation, especially in a global pandemic right now. This is the last time we want to offer services to people without any regulations,” Walley said.
“They are not going to know to look for lice in someone’s head,” Deeks added. “Then they may not even clean the chair properly, so then someone else will get it and someone else after.”
Deeks said that Sen. England isn’t realizing all of the potential health and legal risks that could come into play.
“It’s opening doors to a bad environment. It’s opening doors for lawsuits between businesses and people who are not licensed. In order to own a business, you have to have liability insurance. Will they?” he said.
England has responded in multiple posts on his Facebook page explaining why he helped author the bill and why he thinks it will benefit people in Mississippi. If the bill passes, it will go into effect July 1, 2021.
You can read Sen. England’s arguments in support of the bill below.
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