COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — An Ohio bill introduced a few years ago to change the state’s barber and cosmetology laws is returning to the Statehouse.
However, barbers like Daniel Crease told NBC4 he is not happy with the legislation. “It’s quite shocking,” Crease said.
House Bill 158 is extensive legislation; it is 142 pages and the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Bill Roemer (R-Richfield) and Rep. Melanie Miller (R-City of Ashland) said they are confident that this is the right direction to go.
Miller said one the goal of the bill is “to clean-up the cosmetology and barbering statues to reduce barriers for the profession as we work to improve our workforce.” But crease, who has been CEO of Executive Stylin’ Salon for 35 years, said the legislation removes accountability. The bill would do things like lower the age to apply for a barber license or start barbering school from 18 to 16.
“It’s not just all about just cutting,” Crease said. “Can that 16-year-old comprehend what a chemical burn is or the attributes that come along with being able to be able to apply chemicals to someone’s hair? What about color?”
Crease said he is okay with some parts of the bill, like one section under barber law changes. The section continues the requirement that an applicant has 1,800 hours of board-approved training, but allows ten hours of instruction per day to be counted towards those total hours.
Crease said other sections should go, like eliminating a requirement that a barber student completes 200 additional hours of training before re-taking the licensing exam.
“Having the proper training minimizes any accidents that can happen, no matter what you’re doing, but especially in hair,” he said.
Still, the bill’s sponsors said their goal is to update the statutes to harmonize the regulations and processes of the board and better serve licensees. Crease said, for now, he is not convinced.
“It’s offensive that they would consider passing this law,” he said. “To sum it up, this is a powder keg and it’s going to blow.”
The bill has had its first committee hearing, it awaits both opponent and proponent testimony.