Arizona is on the verge of putting an end to the overregulation tangling up its blow-dry stylists.
SB 1401 is on its way to Governor Doug Ducey’s desk for signature, following its passage by both houses of the Arizona Legislature. Sponsored by Representative Michelle Ugenti-Rita, the bill will remove the requirement that blow-dry salon workers—stylists who dry and style hair, but do not cut, perm, or permanently alter hair—must obtain a cosmetology license in order to do their job. Upon the signing of the bill, Arizona will become just the second state in the country—after Virginia—to not require a costly, time-consuming license for blow-dry stylists.
Last month, the Goldwater Institute released a report about the overregulation of blow-dry stylists, drawing attention to the regulatory mismatch that these workers face. In Arizona, the lowest-level license needed to work in a blow-dry salon takes 1,000 hours of training. That training includes many lessons that blow-dry salon employees don’t need and never use in their line of work. These training requirements make it more difficult to become a blow-dry stylist than to become a police officer or firefighter—professions where safeguarding public health and safety are central concerns.
“In Arizona, blow drying someone’s hair without a cosmetology or barbering license is a crime punishable by up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine—even though blow-drying hair has nothing to do with protecting public health and safety,” Goldwater Institute Director of Government Affairs Jenna Bentley, who co-authored the report. “This bill is a commonsense reform that people are embracing across the political aisle, with the Arizona Senate passing the bill on a bipartisan basis. Arizona now stands to become a place that truly honors blow-dry stylists’ right to earn a living.”