Thursday, May 12, 2005

Man arrested for giving a manicure without a license

In the Concord Monitor Online, New Hampshire, a report from Monday talks about a man who was arrested for not being a licensed cosmetologist, and yet giving a manicure.  It was a protest – he’s not trying to be a manicurist in New Hampshire, but trying to expose useless licensing laws.

To be a manicurist in NH, you need around 300 hours of training, and take and pass numerous written and practical tests.  My wife was a licensed cosmetologist in the state of Illinois – the training requirements are comparable there to be a hairdresser.  IL even has a continuing education requirement – you need to take courses throughout your career to renew your license.

My big question is this – let’s assume I don’t have a license, but want to work in a barber shop.  I know nothing about cutting hair – how long will I last in the business?  If it’s my shop, I’ll fold in a month when people stop coming in – if I’m working for someone else, I’d give it a day or less.  Now let’s say I know how to cut hair, but don’t know about sanitary practices.  If I cause injury to someone because I don’t know how to properly sanitise things, I’d be liable for medical expenses and damages, and the bad PR and money I’d have to pay out would close my shop.  Now let’s say I figure that out and re-open, but I’m just not very good – people want styles I can’t reproduce, or procedures I don’t know how to do.  In order to expand my business, I’ll need to learn new skills – to be successful, I’ll need to keep up on the latest styles and techniques.

In other words, in order to run a successful business, I’ll need training on how to cut hair, how to do it safely, and keep up to date on the latest in my industry.  Everything I need to have a successful growing business I would do without a license, so why do I need one again?  Oh, right, so the government knows what I’m doing for a living.

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