September 20, 2019

It was a great day for liberty in Arizona last week as Governor Doug Ducey celebrated the signing of the “Blow Dry Freedom” bill, eliminating costly, time-consuming licensing requirements for blow-dry hair stylists. Ducey called it “one of the most common-sense bills to come across my desk in a long time,” and it’s easy to see why.

The Goldwater Institute law removes 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. That licensing process is costly. In Arizona, the lowest-level license needed to work in a blow-dry salon takes 1,000 hours of training, including many lessons that blow-dry salon employees don’t need and never use in their line of work. Failure to obtain the license would result in fines and jail time.

Thanks to the new law, blow-dry salon workers are free to practice their profession without obtaining a senseless and costly license. And the new policy is already paying off.

“I’ve essentially doubled my income,” said Tricia Bennett, a professionally trained makeup artist who explained to Fox 10 that now she’s able to legally style hair in addition to her existing book of business. Holli Christensen, owner of the Kensington Makeup Academy in Scottsdale, says that since the bill became law earlier this year, she has seen an influx of people wanting to get into the industry, as Fox 10 also reported.

“Professional women and men should have the right to earn a living without government permission—and certainly without the threat of fines and jail time,” said Goldwater Institute Director of Government Affairs Jenna Bentley. The law, which was sponsored by Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita and passed with bi-partisan support, also comes on the heels of legislation also signed earlier this year making Arizona the first state in the nation to recognize occupational licenses from other states.

Though it’s good news that Arizonans are now more free to practice their profession, the fact remains that occupational license requirements remain a significant impediment to women and men that simply want to get to work. The Goldwater Institute is fighting to break down barriers to work in Arizona and across the United States.

You can read more about Blow Dry Freedom here.

Read more about this issue in our report Protection Racket: Occupational Licensing Laws and the Right to Earn a Living.

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