CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Lawmakers are just one step further to passing a bill that could impact cosmetology and barber students, as well as whoever gets beauty services done.
Seniors in the Cosmetology program at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center prepare their mannequins for a haircut, one of the many skills they need to know before graduating.
“We have a 1,500-hour program here. I could teach them another 300. I could teach them another 1,500 because they need that education, and they’re not comfortable even at 1,500 hours going out and touching real people,” said Lisa Schiraldi-Argiro, a cosmetology instructor.
Schiraldi-Argiro said Ohio House Bill 542 would change the licenses for both cosmetologists and barbers. If passed, the bill would reduce training hours for cosmetologists in Ohio from 1,500 to 1,000. Barbers would reduce hours by 800.
“Anytime there is a reduction in education it’s never a good thing,” Schiraldi-Argiro said.
Student Sophia Rich said there are pros and cons to the bill, but sides with her teacher.
“You might be sick one time, a couple of weeks or so, and those hours you have to make them up, and sometimes that’s going to stress you out,” Rich said. “We learn so much with those hours. That’s half the school year that we are learning and that we are in cosmetology.”
The hours are crucial for learning, especially in areas like sanitation.
“We are physically touching clients. A lot of what we do is safety and sanitation to prevent the spread of diseases,” Schiraldi-Argiro said. “If you reduce those hours, we are actually, probably in my gut, we’re going to reduce the amount of people going into the industry because when they graduate, they are going to be less comfortable after 1,000 hours than they are after 1,500 or 1,800.”
Changes to House Bill 542 will be sorted out by the House and Senate as the bill moves through the legislature.