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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Would you get your hair done or have a manicure by an unlicensed barber or cosmetologist? A bill making its way through the Missouri House would deregulate much of the beauty industry– meaning a barber or cosmetologist wouldn’t have to have a license to work in the state.

The bill was introduced by a St. Louis representative and co-sponsored by representatives from Cass, Franklin and Platte counties. They say it will help spur economic growth. But, stylists we spoke with today say if it passes it will put your safety at risk.

House Bill 590 ‘authorizes a person to engage in the practice of certain professions without being licensed’. What does that mean for you? If the bill passes the next time you walk into a salon or barbershop in Missouri your stylist, barber, nail technician or cosmetologist may not have any formal training.

“I laughed, I thought it was a little crazy to think about,” said stylist Emily Winders from ‘Hair’ Salon in Westport. She says she and others in her profession are licensed for a reason. “Well considering all the things you learn in school you learn about safety just handling your tools, chemicals- bleach is intense that’s going directly around people’s faces sometimes on their scalp directly,” Winders said.
Representitive Paul Curtman of St. Charles County, a co-sponsor of the bill, says he understands Winders concern. “I think in an industry where you’re pouring chemicals over somebody’s head that’s probably a valid concern there and that’s probably something the state needs to provide some checks and balances over that’s probably one of the parts that will come out of this bill,” he said.

But, Representative Curtman says a bill like this is needed saying it will help cut red tape and could lead to more jobs. He says Missouri is near last when it comes to job creation and something has to change. “This is just one of the bills we’re hoping provokes a discussion on regulatory reform,” he said.

A hearing on the bill is scheduled for Thursday morning.