Cosmetology could be deregulated in Indiana if committee decides licenses not needed

Bill to form committee passes Senate vote

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana lawmakers are considering deregulating a number of professions, including real estate brokers, home inspectors and several others.

Nail salons and dozens of others lumped under the “beauty culture” umbrella are also under review.

Professionals in the beauty industry say doing away with licensing would be disastrous.

Stylist Tracy Brown owns Moxie on Mass Avenue, and she says from color, bleach to cut,  it takes skill to produce beauty.

“Sure you can pick up a pair of scissors, but I have about 25 pair of different scissors and they all do different things," said Brown.

Longtime client and cancer survivor, Joyce Schooley, says with a weakened immune system she wouldn't dare sit in the chair of an unlicensed cosmetologist.

"Had she not had the education and knowledge someone could have made my situation a lot worse, because if I get an infection chances are I would die," said Schooley.

Senate Bill 520 calls for the creation of the Eliminate, Reduce and Steamline Employee Regulation Committee, or ERASER, to decide if more than a dozen industries can do without licenses.

Nail technicians at Jimmy's Nail Spa, near downtown Indianapolis, say they've seen the work of untrained manicurists, and it's not pretty.

“The biggest thing I see is toenail fungus, the city of Indianapolis would be surprised to know that 90 percent of the people I’ve seen have a toenail fungus that they got from a bad pedicure from a dirty shop,” said Angel, at Jimmy's Nail Spa.

There will be no need for schools like Empire Beauty if the ERASER committee's review doesn't recommend a continuation of licensing.

“We need to keep learning so we can teach them. I just I can’t even imagine, I can’t imagine not having licensing,” said instructor Sabrina Allen.

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