Gov. Ducey signs into law removing licensing requirements to those who style hair

PHOENIX — You don’t need to be a rocket scientists to style hair for money in Arizona.

And pretty soon you won’t need to be a cosmetologist, either.

Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday penned his approval to legislation that removes licensing requirements for people whose activities are limited to washing, drying, curling, hot ironing and styling hair. The governor, in a prepared statement, called it “a victory for commonsense.”

“It’s ridiculous that government bureaucrats would require 1,000 training hours before someone can start a job blow-drying hair,” he said. “This bill ends that foolishness.”

But the new law, which will take effect this summer, does not eliminate all state oversight.

Prior efforts to deregulate the practice died amid concerns about the kinds of illness that could be spread by untrained people, both in failing to notice communicable diseases and in failing to properly sterilize equipment between customers. The version that Ducey signed requires the state Board of Cosmetology to come up with some sort of course — the specifics and length are not specified — to teach sanitation, infection control and state laws on the issue.

It also requires that any shop that uses an unlicensed stylist post a sign in a conspicuous location telling would-be customers that the stylist is not regulated by the cosmetology board.

Even with that, some foes remained dissatisfied, saying someone without proper training can easily burn the head of a customer with the permitted tools.

The new law does keep in place existing training requirements for those who want more than a simple styling. Licensing remains mandatory for those who apply chemicals to straighten or curl hair.

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