FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- Evolve Spa Owner Misty Hernandez and over 26,000 others signed a petition to stop Indiana House Bill 1364, which would potentially allow individuals to provide cosmetology services without holding a state license.
“We feel it devalues our education and our expertise in our field,” Hernandez said.
Co-author of the bill Rep. Timothy Wesco says it was not meant to offend those currently in the industry and fully encourages training and licensing.
“I think if anyone going forward wants to be a professional cosmetologist or barber, that going through that schooling is an excellent way to do that and people will continue to do that,” Wesco said.
The bill is aimed at those who are looking for a side gig to make extra cash.
“If you have an individual who has learned this skill on their own and wants to make a little bit of side money, they don’t want to necessarily make it their profession, but they want to do hair for special events or whatever it is and have people pay them, I think we should allow that to happen,” he said.
Hernandez has been in the beauty industry for 25 years and carries four licenses. She says even with all those years of professional experience, the pandemic hurt her business.
“We’ve had to accommodate and provide an extra level of sanitation, sterilization, things you could only get from education in our field that’s for licensed professionals,” she said.
Hernandez says this legislation comes at a horrible time.
“To deregulate us now as we’ve proven our profession is kinda like a slap in the face,” she said.
Hernandez argues the bill is putting people in serious danger by attempting to allow the general public to use harmful chemicals on people without proper training.
The bill states the consumer would have to sign a waiver before receiving the service.
They’re still required to comply with all health and safety requirements as licensed professionals.
“As long as a consumer knows they’re engaging in business with an unlicensed individual, then they can have the choice to do that,” Wesco said.
If the bill passes, it will be effective as of July 1. You can view the proposal below.