LIMA — State Senator Matt Huffman toured Ohio State Beauty Academy Friday morning to get a better understanding of Senate Bill 129, a bill that would decrease the number of training hours needed to earn a cosmetology license from the state of Ohio among other changes to the cosmetology industry.
OSBA, in association with other private cosmetology schools, is in opposition to the bill. Huffman sits on the committee where the bill is currently being considered.
Huffman admitted he is no expert when it comes to cosmetology qualifications, but the tour helped give him necessary insight into the problem he can bring back to Columbus.
The current number of training hours required for licensure — 1,500 — allows instructors to teach the practice and theory of hair, nails and makeup. That number is similar for the majority of states, which means that licensed cosmetologists can easily transfer the education gained at OSBA to other states.
“That in itself probably means we’re doing it the right way in Ohio,” Huffman said.
As for the bill, Huffman said he doesn’t foresee it moving forward as just a few senators resisting passage can upend the approval process, and this particular bill doesn’t have much momentum.
Both instructors and students at OSBA said the 1,500 hours of training is necessary for them to do their jobs well.
“I had a lot of hair experience before I came here, and I felt I wouldn’t have been ready without 1,500 hours,” student Mary Watercutter said.
“When people are sitting in your chair, they’re paying money for your service. We need to be able to recommend the right products so they can maintain the looks that they pay for,” Instructor Alicia King said.
There’s also a safety component when it comes to using some of the chemical products, some of which can be as caustic as drain cleaner liquids, Freshmen Instructor Shawn Tippie said. Without the necessary training, individuals may burn the skin and melt the hair of their clients, he said.
“We are a career where we physically touch people with our hands, and we teach our students how to properly disinfect our tools that touch people and teach students what to look for that could be communicable from one client to another. The students will be missing out on these lessons if we have to cut our hours from 1,500 to 1,000,” Tippie stated in a press release.
The Ohio Salon Association is supporting the bill, which they say will “increase license mobility, require a national exam and lower the required cosmetology hours to fight full deregulation.”
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.