Lubbock barber says proposed bill puts customers at risk

Proposed bill could impact barber license safety

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A new bill could soon be headed to the Texas House and the Senate, which would stop regulations on both barbering and cosmetology. HB-1705 aims to expand employment opportunities by not requiring stylists to obtain a license, but one Lubbock business now says that change would make it unsafe for consumers.

With a barbers license you don’t just learn how to cut hair, you learn how to do it safely, with proper sanitation procedure. That’s why Jason Estrada, the owner of Trendz Barber Academy, says it’s essential for stylists to learn the correct ways before someone gets hurt.

“Scissors are sharp. They tell kids not to run with them, but yet they’re going to give them to somebody that has no training." Estrada has been cutting hair since he was a teenager, but he didn’t know the correct materials to use until he went to school.

“When I stated cutting hair, half this stuff here I didn’t know what it was until I started cutting hair, until I got educated in that field." Speaking about his license he says, "These aren’t just given out, you have to earn these things and it comes with more than just cutting hair.”

However, if HB-1705 is approved that wouldn’t be a requirement, and neither would the knowledge of sanitation skills one might have learned in the classroom. This means that anybody without a license could go to a salon and call themselves a hairstylist.

Sponsor of the bill, State Representative Matt Shaheen told NBC DFW that the legislation is intended to help expand employment opportunities by eliminating, “unnecessary occupational licenses,” but local residents don’t agree.

“Texas’ unemployment rate is fine, it’s at the national average which is 3.8%, it’s not below, it’s not above, so I think this is going about the wrong way in trying to create those jobs," explains Kristian Gonzalez an Administrative Assistant at Trendz Barber Academy. "I don’t see how taking away regulations on styling and barbering, how that is safer for Texas and is creating safer jobs when this helps to watch out for people and their health and their well being.”

Currently, HB-1705 has been referred to Licensing and Administrative Procedures. If approved and passed, then it will be sent to both the Texas House and Senate, where they will separately decided if they want to discuss and then approve the bill. If it passes both then it will head to the Governor’s desk to be signed. If signed, it becomes law.

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