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Recently, a state bill allowing anyone working in a salon or barbershop to wash, condition, blow dry, or style hair without a license passed the California Senate. Next week, the bill moves onto the Assembly Professions and Business Committee, and the Professional Beauty Association is stating its case that the bill does not support an individual's long-term growth or a sustainable career path with growth potential. This week, PBA's Executive Director Steve Sleeper penned the following letter to to California's Assemblymembers, urging them to vote against SB 999. If you live in California, and want to make your voice heard, click here.  

The Professional Beauty Association (PBA), a national trade association representing manufacturers, distributors, salon business owners, and stylists, does not support SB 999. According to small business owners in the California salon industry, trained and educated employees are key to their overall success. Stylists are seeking long-term stability within the professional beauty industry that includes a living wage, paid benefits, mentorship and training with the potential for continued growth. SB 999 does not support long-term growth and a sustainable career path with greater earning potential. 

All fifty states require a cosmetology license to provide professional beauty services, licensed employees can be insured and held accountable by the state and the consumer. SB 999 will no longer require training, education, or a license for individuals seeking to blow-dry and style hair. The lack of training and education will limit the individual to solely blow-drying hair with limited earning potential or growth. The fatigue of solely blow-drying hair for minimum wage continues a cycle of high turnover and ultimately fails the employee.

Californians are proud of the small businesses throughout the state that help grow the economy through sustainable employment opportunities. California’s vibrant and growing salon industry generates $6.6 billion in annual sales and provides employment-based opportunities for more than 60,000 individuals. The current U.S. unemployment rate is 3.9%, in California it is 4.2%. Despite this, California’s salon industry outperformed the state’s overall private sector in recent years in the crucial area of job creation, and employment of cosmetologists is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026. 

Business owners in California need the support of their Assemblymembers to continue to help grow California’s economy and increase employment opportunities. A living wage, mentorship, paid benefits, and career growth is what business owners and employees are seeking. SB 999 does not encourage or support these current efforts.

In March of 2016, PBA provided occupational licensing reform testimony (reports and data) to California’s Little Hoover Commission. We want to work with you to achieve reform that supports the goal of the Assembly, providing sustainable careers with an earning potential beyond minimum wage.

On behalf of our business owners we urge you to vote no on SB 999.


Steve Sleeper
Executive Director
Professional Beauty Association

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