Economic Liberty

Niche-Beauty Services Opportunity Act

Exempting Hairstylists and Other Specialty Providers from Cosmetology Licenses.

Hairstyling salons, often referred to as “blow dry bars,” are gaining popularity nationwide. They offer fewer services than traditional cosmetology salons, focusing on shampooing, blow drying, and styling, while excluding haircuts or chemical treatments.

These salons also are gaining popularity with aspiring entrepreneurs.

But significant challenges exist. Most states require hairstylists to get full cosmetology licenses, even when they wish to focus on niche services. These licensing prerequisites create unwarranted obstacles, demanding substantial investments of time and money that often result in burdensome debt for hairstylists.

What Can State Legislators Do?

The Institute for Justice offers the the Niche-Beauty Services Opportunity Act. It exempts hairstylists from occupational licensing requirements. This means that practitioners do not need an cosmetology license to offer customers basic hair services such as shampooing, conditioning, drying, and styling while using simple tools like blow dryers, combs and brushes.

The model also exempt (1) services like eyelash extension application, makeup application, natural hair braiding, and threading from occupational licenses, and (2) salons that exclusively offer these niche services from facility licenses.

By enacting IJ’s Niche-Beauty Services Opportunity Act, state legislators can (1) help aspiring entrepreneurs – as well as franchisors and franchisees – to enter the beauty market and (2) provide more options to consumers. IJ’s model is a proven means for states to create more opportunities and beauty in a fast changing industry.

No License Required for Blow Dry Bars

Hairstylists are currently exempt from cosmetology licenses in five states.

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming District of Columbia