Deregulation bill would put Florida dead last in cosmetology safety standards

by | Mar 27, 2019

It’s appropriate for state lawmakers to consider the proper role of government and eliminate excessive regulations that hold back Florida’s economy. At the same time, it’s essential that elected leaders preserve the fundamental responsibility of government to safeguard citizens and avoid actions that have unintended consequences.

Shortsighted legislation currently making its way through the legislative process would violate both of these principles by introducing a safety threat and aggravating the very problem it purports to correct.

The professional deregulation bills – SB 1640 and HB 27 – are being promoted as making it easier for people to enter the workforce as barbers or specialists in skin care and nails, supposedly eliminating barriers to entry into these professions. However, these bills would actually increase the barrier to entry and would put the public at risk of illness and injury from under-trained practitioners by giving Florida the lowest training standards in the nation for barbers, esthetician, nail technicians, and full specialists.

Michael L. Halmon – President, American Institute of Beauty

This legislation would reduce the number of hours needed to work as a barber to 600, less than half the national average. Within that limited time, students would have to learn fully about safety and sanitation, including preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and fungal diseases and recognizing potential skin and scalp conditions – all while also studying the fundamentals of hair cutting and styling, performing delicate chemical procedures, and following applicable laws and rules.

There are more than 14,000 cosmetologists in the Tampa Bay area, working with more than 40,000 professionals and salons licensed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation in the region. Rather than making it easier to gain entry into these professions, reduced standards would create a serious financial and practical impediment. For instance, the proposed reduction in training hours for a full specialist, someone able to do both skin and nails, would eliminate the possibility of a Pell Grant – $5,000 in free federal money that many students use to fund their education.

Salon owners will also be less inclined to hire Florida-educated barbers, knowing that they are under-prepared to be successful, favoring practitioners properly trained in other states. Spas, medical practices, and cruise lines that employ skin care specialists will not compromise on a high standard of excellence and would be reluctant to hire Florida-trained individuals.

And tourists have a right to expect the same level of training from a hair, skin, or nail practitioner in Florida that they enjoy back home. It would be a black mark on Florida’s important tourism industry if we developed a reputation as the place to avoid salons and spas because of incidents of disease and bad practice. In the age of social media, those predictable horror stories would spread faster than a nail fungus.

Lawmakers must work to find sensible solutions to pressing problems, but this legislation is a poorly conceived fix in search of a non-existent problem. Florida should continue to set the standard for excellence in all things and not be the low bar for skin, hair, and nail professionals.

Michael L. Halmon is the President of the American Institute of Beauty, which has locations in Largo and St. Petersburg. He is also the current Chair of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools. Welcome to – your online plain text editor. Enter or paste your text here. To download and save it, click on the button below.


  1. Patrick Bene

    Please do not deregulate and reduce the curriculum for the Cosmetology and Barber Industry! It would create a very unsafe environment for the Public. Additionally, Professionals enjoy a boom of tourism dollars 6-9 months a year, and the visiting tourists will not have beauty services done in Florida, and these professionals will eventually lose their jobs. The idea that deregulation will lower barriers to employment will result in more people out of work. No one will respect Florida, we will be the lowest educated in the United States in these industries.

  2. Dawn St.Germain

    Deregulating Florida would not be a wise move for our state. Students are not only learning the physical aspects of cutting, coloring, perming, facials, nails, these students are also learning the science. Understanding the chemicals that we use takes time and without time, this will create more harm than jobs. Please Give our future professionals the time they need to learn, understand, practice and grow.

    • Anonymous

      Dawn: Science !
      You are absolutely correct.
      look where we are going in haircutting education. You seem to be the type to enjoy reading an important breakthrough.
      have a look at our sit!
      all the. best
      Patrick G

  3. Shonia Brown

    Florida already has very low hours compared to other States in the US..Oregon 2300 hours or full cosmetology nail technicians go 6 months to school estheticians go 6 months to school barbers go 1500 hours they are more then prepared to open their very own business. California is just shy of Oregon..Here in Florida it is like the students are on a Express training already.. this would be detrimental to their safety to the public safety this cannot be done please we are profession we love what we do as cosmetologist as Barbara as full specialist As Nails tech.Estheticians, Medical Estheticians.. please please please take this into consideration the students need the hours I’m an educator for AIB..Mr. Michael is the owner of our school. I asked the students that I teach right now in nails if they would feel comfortable having less hours my students said absolutely no. I gave them a mock final exam. They were at 126 hours.. They said they would not be prepared to go get a job at this point they need to learn more and feel uncomfortable in their job search to be a licensed Nail Tech or a full specialist they do not want this law to pass. They are worried and concerned just as we are that are already licensed professionals I had my students sign so the bill hopefully will not pass..

  4. shayla jackson

    Please do not deregulate a profession that I am so passionate about. I have learned so much about this industry in the last two years that I feel is pertinent to anyone providing services that can ultimately change a person’s life. If anything the hours for these programs should be raised.

  5. Michelle Cuevas

    As a student in this field, Please don’t take away my chance for a proper education. I’m vary passionate about this and want to have the chance to be the best I can.

    • Anonymous

      Michelle: Your message is touching. Don’t give up
      Have a look on
      we are working on making changes to bring the haircutting education to a much more accurate and higher level
      all the best.
      Patrick G

  6. Sara

    Less training=Less skill! This creates an unsafe environment for anyone providing these services with less schooling.

    • Anonymous

      absolutely correct

  7. Victoria

    My son knew how to cut hair better than the instructors at his school. We spent 20,000 for him to go to school to teach the other students as well as the instructors how to cut hair for a license. Sometimes people are just born naturals and that can’t be taught. All the other things could be taught via online classes.

  8. Patrick Garell

    Many changes are needed in the industry especially in the areas of licensing and education.

    Most of the haircutting content in the industry standard cosmetology book, Milady Standard Cosmetology, should be removed as it does not accurately teach students. The authors (or is it the publisher as well!) have had knowledge of important progress in haircutting yet they have not really corrected/provided updates/revisions to the book but rather continue to teach, in my opinion, decades of improper haircutting contents.

    Orthocouralogy or The Scientific Method of Haircutting
        “The Journal of Orthocouralogy and Associated Disciplines” (JO-AD) will be a publication introducing a new discipline: the formal, academic study of the art, method, technique of haircutting, designated by the term “orthocouralogy.”  This journal aims towards the dissemination of research findings which are scientifically based, in order to improve both professional and teaching performance in the field.  Such scientifically designed methodology had previously been regarded as undefinable by many or eagerly awaited by others.
        Overdue, then, since the early years of the 20th century, “JO-AD” should cause a significant turnaround.  It is intended for all professionals, salon owners, manufacturers, and enterprises with interests in this flourishing field.
        STRATEGY involves two main stages of dissemination. 
    The first involves publication of existing haircutting theories and commonly held technical beliefs, along with challenges to those assumptions.
    In the second stage, unlimited publication of articles dealing with non-technical aspects, such as political or legal ones, would serve as a platform or forum for investigators.
        BREAKTHROUGH adapts elementary mathematics to the system of haircutting.  Art is translated into science in several logical and explicit chapters.  A new philosophy for instructing and also practicing is put into place.
    Some major institutions in the beauty industry, as well as professors, doctors, librarians, and trained stylists have already been receptive.  “The creation of orthocouralogy is revolutionary and should change the way haircutting is learned…This program boosts the level of education way up.”
        MANDATE constitutes the need to review and reform and re-analyze the validity of all previously held standards.  Orthocouralogy and the journal, “JO-AD,” invite a thorough, serious investigation of professional regulations on all levels, including cosmetic licensing. This will prove to be essential for all existing and potential students.  Such reform is imperative and inevitable. 

  9. Instructor Gilbert

    you go shayla!!!

  10. Rhonda

    I agree 100% on one hand but. I came from Massachusetts with a 1300 hour schooling When I moved to Florida it requires 1500. I’ve been doing hair for over 14 years and I have always continued my education with keeping up with the latest trends. I have to finish with a test to be licensed here in Florida which makes no sense. Everything in this book is so old school except for sanitation. Let someone with 10 years and over practice anywhere in the states. As long as we are up to date with our licensing.

  11. Staci Glenn

    Newyork only requires 1000 hours and most of the schools in Florida are only in it for the money anyway they just turn out students. As long as they can pass the written test that’s all that matters…. deregulation isn’t the problem it’s the time spent with the instructors and actually learning shit.

  12. Staci Glenn

    What really needs to happen is actual practicals getting done by the state board.

%d bloggers like this: