Bill would create regulation for barber shops

Published 4:07 pm Thursday, April 19, 2012

Alabama’s barber industry might get a makeover soon.

State representative Kurt Wallace, who represents Chilton County, has proposed a bill that would put barber shops under the same regulations as other cosmetologist professions, such as hairstylists and manicurists.

“When you go into a barber shop, you see barbers doing the same things that cosmetologists do,” Wallace said. “No one checks to see if they’re doing things the right way. Some people do; some don’t.”

Barbers traditionally cut hair and maybe shave customers’ faces, but Wallace said the shops increasingly offer the same services as cosmetologists, who are required to receive training and are subjected to inspections.

Wallace’s bill would turn the Alabama Board of Cosmetology into the Alabama Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

He said Alabama is the only state without regulations on barbers. Local barbers must obtain licenses from municipal governments.

Ollie Clyde Jones, who owns City Barber Shop on Second Avenue North in Clanton, said he wouldn’t mind regulation.

“It wouldn’t matter to me, as long as you teach shaving too,” Jones said. “Some [cosmetology schools] don’t teach haircuts–they’re more chemical focused.”

Jones said several of City Barber’s nine employees have received cosmetology certification and that the shop offers a full range of services.

Brenda Robinson, meanwhile, said her business, Brenda and Crystal’s Barber Shop on Sixth Street North in Clanton, only does haircuts.

“We don’t use any cosmetology chemicals,” Robinson said.

She said regulation would be a “hassle” for Brenda and Crystal’s, which has been open about five years.

Amber Price, owner of Elite Salon on Highway 31, said she understands how issues could arise from barbers not being regulated.

“I think anybody that deals with the public should have to answer to somebody as far as cleanliness,” she said. “Some of these chemicals can be dangerous.”

Wallace said he hopes the bill will be brought up for a public hearing soon. It is being considered by the House of Representatives’ Boards and Commissions Committee.

“I’m getting overwhelmed by cosmetology people saying this is only right,” he said.