Crowds gather to protest ‘hairstyling’ Senate Bill 87, Sunday

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Community members gather on state street to protest a new bill that would allow anybody to shampoo, condition, style, use hot tools, and some other services without a license, Sunday.

On January 31, concerned citizens protested the bill, SB87 in hopes to bring awareness to the cosmetologists who have worked hard to upkeep an industry-standard, through rigorous schooling, and ensuring clientele safety.

Protestors gathered at Washington Square Park near 451 south and State Street at 9 a.m., to further their cause.

“Let’s come together and stand up for the integrity of our industry. We need to protect our clients, staff, and students, especially in a global pandemic,” share event organizers.

Connor Boyak with the Libertas Institute has a different perspective. He believes the new bill would free up people to provide basic services, and get paid for them, without paying $15,000 and spending 1600 hours at a cosmotology school.

Essentially, an attempt to get the government out of the way, Boyak says.

Governor Spencer Cox stresses that regulations are meant to help communities thrive not hurt those wanting to grow.

“When I was a freshman Legislature…There was a lawsuit around some of the requirements we had for occupational licensing on braiding hair,” shares Cox as an example. “If you were going to be braiding hair and get paid for it, you actually had to go to beauty school. You’d have to go through about 1200 hours of licensing and it was incredibly expensive…In fact it took longer to get a license to braid someone’s hair than it did to become a pilot…And you can imagine who’d that hurt.”

But salon owner Brenda Scharman says that’s missing the point. Her huge concern here is how licensing reflects an abundance of training since the industry involves physical contact during every appointment. Stylists are trained to look at hair and help identify conditions that are unsafe and transmittable, for both the stylist and the client.

According to the Pro-Beauty Association, allowing just anyone to perform any personal service on a client could go against saftey protocols that each one of them have been required to adhere to.

The PBA says that during the pandemic, safety and sanitation have been the key to stopping and spreading the virus. Each stylist takes extra measures required by the state for licensed beauty professionals to continue to be able to provide such services due to the close physical contact with their clients.

In an email sent out by the PBA they explain that licensed professionals are trained in the areas of skin and scalp care, anatomy, biology, chemistry, and science-based infection control and care about the health and safety of their clients.

According to the PBA, a survey of 2,500 salons, serving over 2 million clients since reopening from state-mandated shutdowns, had a transmittal rate of only .07%.

“The required training and oversight for services that require human touch have been successful in curbing the spread of COVID-19,” the PBA adds.

A copy of the bill can be read here: https://le.utah.gov/~2021/bills/static/SB0087.html

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