SB 803 Threatens Our Professionalism

Posted May 19, 2021, under Advocacy, Deregulation, Licensure, Schools/Students

Just last week, SB 803 (Roth — Riverside County) was gutted-and-amended into a bill that would usher in major and troubling reforms.  We are calling on everyone earning a living in the barbering/beauty industry to reach out to your state representatives and express your concerns.  In short, please help us #StopSB803

SB 803 would:

– Exempt hair cutting/styling from licensure;

– Reduce Cosmo/Barbering to 1,000 hours (from 1,600/1,500);

– Discontinue the Practical Exam (de-prioritizing hands-on skills training);

– Accept all out-of-state licensees with zero experience or commensurate schooling;

– Terminate the pre-application program for students (meaning they will wait months to take the licensing exam)

The Chairman ignored our suggestions to create a shortened hairstylist license and our proposal to expand the Externship program (see PBFC-sponsored AB 492 ) as but two means of reducing what they perceive as “unreasonable barriers to entry.”  And they ignored our call, along with our State Board’s, to rid our beauty colleges from ineffective and costly BPPE oversight, as well as our request to treat Manicurists fairly under AB 5 by extending their rights to work as independent contractors.

You can read the latest version of this troubling bill here: 

SB 803 Language

Yet again, callous Sacramento politicians are disrespecting our professional standards, wrongly perceiving our trade as menial work that is unworthy of rigorous education/training and licensure.

We need your help in establishing the respect our livelihood deserves by:

1. Contact your own State Senator and Assemblymember. You can find who they are here: Find Your Legislator  Your message to your own elected representatives should be simple/concise: “I urge you to OPPOSE the gutting of our barbering/beauty license scope of practice and the education and training that goes into that license as proposed in SB 803 (Roth). After a year of Covid lockdowns, now is not the time to fundamentally undermine the health/safety training underlying our regulated profession that has been licensed since 1927.”

2. Second, we need you to contact the two Co-Chairs of the Committees responsible for this ominous bill: Senator Richard Roth (Riverside County) and Assemblyman Evan Low (San Jose/Silicon Valley). Their Chief Consultants are the best means to send a message to their bosses: AND

While you are likely not constituents of the two Chairs, their legislation will impact your livelihood and the overall professionalism of our beloved industry. So you certainly have a right to convey your concerns directly to the authors’ staff of this dramatic reform measure.

3. Third, please follow our Instagram (ProBeautyFederation) and Facebook (PBFCalifornia) pages for more regular updates.

4. Spread the word and enlist additional foot-soldiers in this battle to preserve the professionalism of our industry (FORWARD this email now).

5. Finally, to keep the PBFC in our State Capitol full time, please consider joining the PBFC (and annually renew if you have already joined) … we hope we have earned your trust, appreciation and support.

In sum, here are the amendments to SB 803 the PBFC is seeking:

  • Establish a lower hours Hairstylist license: Consistently, 9-out-of-10 Cosmetologists indicate that they only do hair services. Nails/skin care training within Cosmetology is superfluous for most students who would opt for a 1,200-hour Hair-only license.  And the national NIC examination already offers a Hairstylist exam in other states, as do our textbooks, so it’s an easy addition. But preserve the current hours of Barbering & Cosmetology.
  • Expand Externships: Consistent with AB 492 (Patterson), allow students to earn more clock-hour credit for real-world, salon experience and be paid for their salon service, as Apprentices currently enjoy.
  • Preserve the Practical portion of the licensing exam: Hands-on competencies must be paramount for licensing verification, and therefore the Written and Practical portions of the exam should be graded according to current law B&P 7338, which states: “In the conduct and grading of the examinations, practical demonstrations shall prevail over written tests.”  This will aid non-English  students most of all, as they often excel in hand-on demonstrations but struggle with written exams.
  • Do not reduce licensure scope: The cutting and styling of hair is an integral part of our licensed scope of practice, and it carries considerable consumer risks.
  • Preserve Student Pre-App:  Do not end student pre-application rights for the licensing examination.
  • Shift BPPE responsibilities to BBC: dual DCA oversight is not helping our students, who only know and turn to our State Board (“BBC”) for redress.  The BBC, unlike the Bureau for Postsecondary Education, is a competent DCA agency.
  • Welcome comparable out-of-state licensees: California led the nation in 2006 with the most welcoming “reciprocity” law that the PBFC sponsored, but we should only accept out-of-state licenses with comparable standards, or require industry experience, per B&P 7331.
  • Treat Manicurists equally in AB 5: The current January 2022 sunset for Manicurists being allowed to operate independently should be extended/removed to treat them equally as the other licenses.