June 18, 2021
TO: California Assembly Business and Professions Committee Members
RE: ASCP, AHP, and ANP Comments regarding Senate Bill 803
Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP), Associated Hair Professionals (AHP), and Associated Nail Professionals (ANP) (“the Associations”) provide professional liability insurance, business resources, professional publications, and legislative and regulatory advocacy for more than 31,200 members nationwide, including more than 4,500 members across all three associations in California. In addition, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) provides the same services to over 80,000 members nationwide, including nearly 10,000 members in California.
We are in favor of Senate Bill 803, furthering the sunset of the Barbering and Cosmetology Board, with some suggested amendments. We are concerned about the deregulation of haircutting and hairstyling currently in the bill.
One of the biggest concerns the Associations have with this legislation is its potential negative impact on public health and safety. Hair professionals have always required strict adherence to proper sanitation and infection control procedures. This is one of the main areas of concentration in cosmetology and hair programs. State boards require passing an extensive test on this subject to obtain a license. In addition, there are potential liability issues when an untrained individual performs services that other individuals are highly trained to perform. Simply put, this bill has safety implications for the public and financial implications for licensed hair professionals.
The Associations encourage the legislature to maintain licensing requirements for haircutting and hairstyling in the interest of public health and safety.
Having a license indicates the barber or cosmetologist has received education on blood borne pathogens, managing contamination from a previous client so that the next client doesn’t contract a disease, and sanitation of tools and towels so that the same tools are not used on multiple clients without sanitizing.
We also have issues with the general deregulation of hairstylists. Licensed practitioners are trained in a range of safety protocols, including how to prevent burns from curling irons or hair dryers. Before deregulating stylists, we encourage the legislature to consider adding a sanitation training and certification requirement, as the Utah legislature did with Senate Bill 87 in 2021. Utah recognized the importance of training and licensure to distinguish licensed cosmetologists from unlicensed stylists. In Utah, unlicensed stylists will be required to display a sign that indicates they are not a licensed cosmetologist.
In addition to the Associations’ concern about deregulating haircutting and hairstyling, ABMP takes issue with allowing estheticians to perform massage within their scope of practice. We understand and appreciate that estheticians work with the skin, and that the skin is more than just the face. That said, massage therapists are health-care professionals. There needs to be a distinction in what estheticians are allowed to perform versus what massage therapists perform. The California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) put forward a solution in which they define the scope of practice for estheticians as:
(2) Tinting and perming of the eyelashes and brows.
(3) Removing superfluous hair from the body of any person by use of depilatories, tweezers, sugaring,
nonprescription chemical, or waxing, or by the use of devices and appliances of any kind or description, except by the use of lasers or light waves, which are commonly known as rays. As a secondary practice, incidental to and necessary for removing superfluous hair from the body of any person, Estheticians may apply to the skin or use on the skin, by the means of hands or esthetic devices, any of the following: cosmetic products, antiseptics, lotions, tonics, or creams, that do not result in the ablation or destruction of the live tissue.
CAMTC further clarifies the services that estheticians are not allowed to perform:
(4) This section (c) does not allow Estheticians to provide full body massage. Estheticians may
not provide partial body massage that is not directly necessary and incidental to a specific skin
(5) Barbers, Cosmetologists, Estheticians, and Manicurists may not advertise massage services
or act as or hold themselves out as a massage therapist or massage provider.
ABMP agrees with this solution and believes there should be a clear distinction between the work of massage therapists and estheticians.
Thank you for considering our opinion. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments or questions.
Laura B. Embleton, Government Relations Director
Associated Skin Care Professionals
Associated Hair Professionals
Associated Nail Professionals
Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals