Public Comments for Events Organized by the FTC's Economic Liberty Task Force #00020

Submission Number:
Myra Reddy
Professional Beauty Association
Initiative Name:
Public Comments for Events Organized by the FTC's Economic Liberty Task Force
The following attached documents are comments are submitted to the Federal Trade Commission's Economic Liberty Task Force on behalf of the Professional Beauty Association (PBA). The Professional Beauty Association is a national trade association representing manufacturers and distributors of professional beauty products, salon owners, and licensed beauty professionals such as cosmetologists, hair stylists and barbers. Licensed beauty professionals provide a variety of highly skilled services, often using complex chemical-based products that could be harmful to consumer-clients unless used with care. The licensed professionals must comply with varying state regulations in order to legally provide professional salon services to their clients. These regulations, including educational requirements, were adopted to protect consumer health and safety. PBA strongly supports the need for a mandatory license for the professional beauty industry, to ensure consumer health and safety. However, we welcome proposals to streamline and coordinate these requirements among states, to provide for increased mobility among licensed professionals while continuing adequate educational and proficiency requirements to safeguard the health and safety of the consumers who receive the professional services. We believe that cosmetologists and other beauty professionals who have completed their educational training, passed their Board exams, and have received their professional cosmetology or other licenses in one state should be able to freely move and work in their profession in any other state. PBA therefore supports efforts to eliminate or reduce current regulatory impediments to professional license portability. See Steve Sleeper, Executive Director, Professional Beauty Association, An Open Letter to the Professional Beauty Industry (April 19, 2017), available at License Mobility -- Challenges in the Professional Beauty Industry Every state has its own laws and regulations governing licensing in fields such as cosmetology, barbering, esthetics and manicuring. These regulations differ both in their education and training requirements and, more fundamentally, in their definition of specialties and skills falling within the license parameters. Individuals licensed in one state are eligible to seek licensing in other states but are subject to a variety of eligibility requirements based on prior education and experience. Most states have explicit rules on reciprocity (where a licensed professional is allowed to work in another state) or endorsement (where a professional licensed in one state is allowed to apply for a license in another state without have to take a new board exam). Those rules rely heavily on the concept of "substantially equivalent training and or experience" and are tied to comparable or similar scope of practice -- concepts which restrict the number of professionals who are able to practical usefulness of the reciprocity and endorsement rules. A license such as cosmetology in one state may be similar to a license issued to a hairstylist or beautician in another state. However, the skills and knowledge necessary to receive one license may have significant differences. States are hesitant to offer reciprocity or licensing by endorsement unless they are assured that the applicant has in fact achieved the necessary knowledge and mastery of skills to perform all services covered by the license to be issued. Please see attached documents for complete comments. Thank you. Myra Y. Irizarry Reddy Director of Government Affairs and Industry Relations Professional Beauty Association