revised fall 2008
Getting a hair cut is normalcy in the world today. We sit down in fancy swiveling chairs and allow another person with a pair of scissors to cut and shape our hair in exchange for money. We either make appointments to get our hair cut or spontaiously walk in with something in mind for a new look. All it takes is a pair of scissors and a licensed cosmetologist. We expect to feel refreshed and like to think our physical appearance has been modernized when the experience is finished.
Many laws and restrictions have been placed on those who cut hair as a profession. According to the State of Montana (http://www.mt.gov/) all barbers and cosmetologists in Montana must hold a current license that is in good standing with the Montana Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists. A prior 2,000 hours of practice in a school setting must be completed in order to receive the license. Once the license is finally obtained it must be visible in the work place for all to see. There must be 120 square feet of space per operator in a facility to practice the profession. The Board of Public Health and Human Services holds sanitary requirements that it considers necessary and must be met by random inspections of the facility. In many cases, if a sanitary inspection is failed, the operator is notified to fix the condition in which was violated. The operator then must complete a written statement notifying the Board that the problem has been fixed. If there are more than three violations of the sanitary rule the Board could possibly take further measures to shut down the facility.
The sanitary laws as well as the rules about space seem to be a bit bothersome and tedious at times. Also, writing a written statement after a health inspection has been violated is a bit time consuming. When I interviewed a current cosmetologist she believed that for the most part, the laws of her profession were not much of a burden to her in the work place and they in no way interfere with her ethical practice if the rules were followed.
Cosmetologists may fail to pass health inspections or fail to post their licenses for customers to see to escape juridic controls. If a health inspection has been failed a cosmetologist may not fix the condition which needs to be. They can still write a statement verifying the problem was fixed even though in reality it has not been.
An alternative to the burdens of these laws would be to cut other peoples hair from your home not as a profession, and not receive money in exchange for it.