The April 13 story concerning Senate Bill 129 (“Huffman tours Lima beauty school”) reported on opposition to the bill while practically ignoring why Ohio Salons, cosmetologists and even schools support changes in the law.
First of all, there are not enough skilled cosmetologists to fill all the jobs available in Ohio. This is due to the significant number of private cosmetology school closings over the past few years and the barriers to entry erected by state licensing laws. I can speak from experience in this regard as a private school owner in the Lima area from 2002 to 2008. One of these barriers falls unfairly on private school students, who are forced to complete 1,500 hours of training while public vocational school students are considered fully trained after about 1,000. Never mind that success on the state cosmetology licensing exam and in the workplace is virtually identical for both private- and public vocational-school students.
Those who fear SB 129 and HB 189 will lead to lax health and safety measures in salons haven’t read the bills. Both are explicit about the need to maintain high standards and include 26 hours of safety, health and infection control training; 10 hours of hair and scalp diseases training; and ongoing continuing education specifically for safety.
SB 129 and HB 189 provide the training necessary for students to be successful, remove unnecessary barriers, and help salons of all sizes find the highly skilled cosmetologists needed to fuel the economy and grow their businesses.
Greg Stolly, Lima
Former Owner, The Ohio State Beauty Academy