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Ohio House modernizes cosmetology, barber regulations

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(The Center Square) – It could become a little easier for people to get a barber or cosmetology license in Ohio.

Legislation that updates the state Cosmetology and Barber Board statutes recently passed the House 92-3 and now heads to the Senate. It adjusts regulations that proponents say never happened when the General Assembly merged the two boards in 2017.

“This legislation will better serve aspiring cosmetologists and barbers who have experienced unnecessary burdens,” said Rep. Bill Roemer, R-Richfield. “House Bill 158 makes it easier for schools who teach cosmetology and barbering, students who want to start their licensure through career technical education programs, and out-of-state applicants seeking their licenses.”

The bill would create one unified barbering/cosmetology school license that would stop schools that teach both from applying for two licenses. It also increases license reciprocity from other states.

Additionally, the bill reduces fines for disciplinary actions, establishes pre-exam work permits for barbers and lowers the age to apply for a barber license or start barbering school to 16 years old.

“This legislation successfully modernizes the statutes authorizing the Cosmetology and Barber Board due to their consolidation years ago, which is why this is so important,” said Rep. Melanie Miller, R-Ashland. “I am confident that these and other changes that update our code will serve to encourage the barber and cosmetology industry to grow and thrive here in Ohio.”

If passed by the Senate and signed into law, the bill would also end a requirement of an additional 200 hours of training before retaking the exam, allow licenses to become inactive and create an independent contractor license to stop the “shop within a shop” license.

The legislation does not change the current training hour requirements for initial licensure.

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