De-regulation of cosmetology industry raises questions of integrity

(Valencia Wicker/WCIV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- De-regulating portions of South Carolina's cosmetology industry could save cosmetologists hundreds of dollars in licensing fees. But, some say it would be a detriment to the "cosmo" world.

In the coming weeks, state senate leaders will discuss ways to change the way cosmetologists are regulated. One of the proposals is doing away with the fees to become a booth renter.

"I don't think that's very reasonable. I don't think that we're being charged that much. 100 dollars for a booth renters license? I don't think that's very steep," Jennifer Cuba, owner of Anne Bonny's Wax Salon said. Cuba has been a licensed cosmetologist for 22 years.

Other options are cutting out licenses for wig-makers and certain requirements for veteran stylists from other states.

"You get rid of one thing and it's like a domino," Landis Powers, owner of Landis Salon said . "If nothing more, it shows a standard of which people hope and work to get and achieve and maintain."

The funds raised from licensing/cosmetology fees are put in the general state budget and can be used for what ever the state sees fit. If state leaders go forward with de-regulation, the state would loose out on that revenue.

"I'm very impressed that they want to not take that money but, it would be great if they did take that money and in turn hired more investigators to make sure that there were enough people going around to these salons, spas," Cuba said.

Landis says those fees are what help differentiate reputable cosmetologists.

"If you're somebody who's conducting a viable service you'll gladly pay that fee," said Landis. "And, you'll be proud of the fact that you have that license."

In a statement Catherine Templeton, director of the Board of Labor, Licensing and Regulations wrote, "It is incumbent upon the director of LLR, the General Assembly, and in keeping with the priorities of Governor Haley to take a hard look at unnecessary regulation that makes it more difficult for the citizens of South Carolina to do their jobs."

Templeton says the de-regulation being considered would not interfere with the sanitation guidelines of the Department of Health and Environmental Control, but rather do away with "unnecessary fees".