The Dangers of Barber Deregulation
Two Truths & a Lie
At NAOB, we take a lot of pride in delivering blog posts, articles, and information to you every week that are packed with things you need to know, helpful education for your business, industry trends, and more.
Our goal with our blog is to be a resource for you, as well as a form of larger-than-life evidence that we try our hardest to be a champion for the industry we love and the professionals who have made their career homes within it.
Oftentimes, that means we get to talk about fun things—summer side hustles, how to pick out the perfect pair of shears, the best barbering styles emerging in 2019, etc. But today, we’re talking about something a little more serious, and fair warning, we’ve got pretty strong opinions on it.
Our topic today: Deregulation of the barber industry.
Whether you’ve heard the rumblings or not, the fact of the matter is, conversations have been started and legislation has been drawn up that would either dramatically reduce the required regulations for entering into the barbering industry or possibly eliminate the barbering regulations altogether.
States like Arizona, Florida, and Texas have either started conversations or actually begun creating legislation that would alter the requirements needed to become a barber or cosmetologist. For example, in Florida, a bill is underway that would reduce the amount of experience a barber needs to become a professional down to about 600 hours—that’s almost half the national average of required hours.
How do we—as barbers and respected professionals in this industry—feel about this?
Not good, friends. In fact, we boldly and wholeheartedly oppose this concept. Why? Because of all the issues it creates—several which are concerns for the publics’ health and wellbeing—it’s essentially saying one thing, “your career isn’t legitimate and it doesn’t require special skills or training.”
In essence, deregulation is saying anyone can do your job, trained or not. This sincerely would make room for the idea that anyone who wanted to become a barber or cosmetologist could simply become one—no training requirements needed.
Of course, as professional barbers who have been through the required regulations, rigorous training, exams, and countless hours, we know that isn’t true.
We’re not so ignorant as to say that the regulations surrounding the barber industry (and entering it) are perfect—nothing is perfect, and our regulations likely could use some serious TLC. But to do away with our regulations or dramatically reduce the required certifications, hours, and more in order to become a barber? That’s a non-solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.
So, here’s the deal. To effectively get this point across, we’re going to play a little game—two truths and a lie. You might know it. Read these statements below and try to guess which of these is the lie.
- Deregulation will injure the barbering industry as well as the professionals in it
- Deregulation is set up to ease the burden and the barriers that are in the way of people who are trying to break into the barber industry.
- Deregulation puts consumers at a greater risk for diseases, dangers, infections and more.
Feeling stumped? That’s all right. We’re breaking it down below to give you a better idea about deregulation.
Truth: Deregulation Will Injure the Barbering Industry & the Professionals In It
Truthfully, deregulation would have a dangerously negative impact on our industry, as well as the professionals within it—both in the present and for the future. Not only will deregulation in the barbering industry create a professional space that’s filled with people who are—no offense meant here—not actual professionals, it’s also going to flood our industry with incompetent amateurs who won’t just be unqualified additions to the industry, but they’ll also be dangerous, too.
The very basics of barbering are taught in our required hours, classes, exams, etc. If those required hours are eliminated or reduced, we’re left with a workforce that’s entirely unaware of how to be a barber. We’re talking fundamentals, here. If our workforce is flooded with people who don’t know what they’re doing, what does that say about our industry?
Worse, what does it say about those of us who have spent immeasurable time, effort, and money ensuring that we attain and maintain our licenses?
Truth: Deregulation Will Put Consumers at Risk for Diseases, Danger, and More
One of the biggest issues about deregulation within the barber industry is the potential danger that consumers and clients would face. If you’re not a barber or a cosmetologist and you happen to be reading this, you might be thinking, “danger? You’re a hairstylist—what danger could there possibly be here?”
This isn’t just about dissatisfaction. It’s about disease, infections, illnesses, injuries, and more—all of which can definitely take place if you’re not properly trained on sanitation, chemical procedures, techniques, and more that are part of your required training to become a barber.
Think about it this way—would you want someone off the street with no experience rewiring your home? Building your garage? No, we’re not saying that a haircut is of equal importance as the very fabric of your home just based off style and aesthetics—but think about this from a health and sanitation standpoint.
Untrained barbers could put their clients at risk for burns, cuts, injuries, infections, and the spread of contact diseases (which are easily transferred via clippers, scissors, headrests, combs, and more if not properly sanitized!
Lie: Deregulation Will Ease the Burden and Barriers In the Way of Getting Into the Barbering Industry
Here’s the thing about the deregulation bills that are circulating—they’re being painted with pretty brush strokes. The idea that deregulation is supposed to be combating is the barrier to entry for the field. Except here’s the thing, deregulation wouldn’t do that—in fact, it would increase the barriers to entry for barbering. With the insane influx of people that would be entering the field with the barriers of entry broken down, the amount of competition would be enormous, making it even harder for professionals to make a name for themselves within the industry.