From pet peeves to overarching issues, techs racked their brains to identify qualms they have with their own state’s nail licensing policies, proposed solutions, and offered new suggestions.
Every sanitation measure taken and continuing education course attended is mandated by each state’s board of cosmetology. While the rules are in place for a reason, it can be productive to open up lines of dialogue — there’s always room for improvement!
NAILS asked: If you ran your state board, what would be the first rule or regulation you’d change?
Only a handful of responses are featured here, but common themes include the desire for a universal nail license, stricter consequences for unsanitary practices, more inspectors per state, and easier access to education.
I’d make state boards more user-friendly with dedicated technical hotlines. Our rules and regulations aren’t written in “tech talk,” and it’s sometimes difficult to decipher the meaning. It would also be nice to have explanations so we can educate ourselves further on why certain rules are in place. Our state boards are not in touch with the licensees they govern and there is a huge gap between us and them. - Vicki Peters, Polish Salon, Brea, Calif.
I’d completely outlaw piped chairs and have bacteria testing done regularly. Just because something looks clean doesn’t mean it is. - Erica Reynolds, Wavelengths Hair Design, Zephyrhills, Fla.
I would eliminate some of the grandfathering that allows certain nail techs to get away with blatant violations of health and safety. I would also hire a lot more inspectors to make sure those salons actually get fined for their violations. - Andrea Stanley, Vitality A Salon Experience, Largo, Fla.
I’d make at least one continuing education class mandatory per year or per renewal period. Too many techs are out of date! - Tricia Daniels, Young Nails Educator, Minneapolis, Minn.
Since licensed nail techs and cosmetologists are required to take continuing education, I’d make sure to have plenty of classes offered in that state so beauty professionals won’t have to drive elsewhere to take classes. - Sandra Gower, Acrylicly Yours Nails Salon, Elkins, W.Va.
With a huge lack of accredited nail schools in my area and an inability to go live 150 miles away for four months or longer, I’d love to see my state board allow virtual training for at least large portions of licensing education. I can get a doctorate online, but I have to work around a daytime career, a child, and a home to get my license to teach nails. - Molly Fleming, The Parlor, Bloomington, Ill.
I would make it mandatory to look in cupboards and drawers to check for proper sanitation. - Lisa Anderson, Avanti Salon, Sparks, Nev.
I’d distribute practical and written exams in ALL languages to give those who are legally able to work in the U.S. an opportunity to receive a license in the beauty industry. This would minimize the amount of non-licensed practitioners since I’ve seen many students never end up testing because they don’t know English. If they cannot properly communicate or understand exactly what their client needs, they’re not going to collect that guest as a loyal client. - Justin Trujillo, Twin Shears Academy, Salt Lake City
A photo I.D. on our state licensees would be one of the many things I’d change so clients can relate the photo with the nail tech. - Marsee Essington, NAILS by Marsee, Mount Pleasant, Pa.
I would propose that there no longer be a full cosmetology license. All areas would have to be specific. You could only get a license for hair, nails, or esthetics; not one that covers all. Full cosmo allow you to do everything with basically no training. - Lynnette Diaz-Madden, Salon 29, East Greenville, Pa.
I’d write a manual about how laws are made (not by the state board, but by the legislature, senate, and governor) and send it to all schools, students, and licensed technicians. Then I’d explain the steps that the board is mandated to follow to show that many times their hands are tied. I’d also give more money to the boards for further education, compliance, and guidance for current licensees. - Diana Bonn, Identity Salon, Muncie Ind.
When I took my test in 2007, we had live models to do required services on. Now students must use hard mannequin hands that are very, very difficult to work on. I’d require a live model or the new Digit Mannequin hands that have joints so the fingers move. It would be easier for the students to demonstrate how to do an actual service. - Alexandria Richter, Dazzlin Digits Nail Boutique, Sunset, Utah
It would be very nice if the rules would be the same for all the states. That way, professionals can move and share their work without any impediments. Also, twice a year, I would do a quick survey to see if my state’s nail techs wanted to change something or have a suggestion. We learn from the state board, but I know they have plenty of things to learn from us too. - Cristina Melnicenco, Salon Bel’Aire, Cincinnati
Texas state board rules are too vague — an insufficient amount of something is not helpful. Also, Texas has too many specialty licenses. - Lisa Burns Harcrow, Bombshells Salon Texarkana, Texarkana, Texas
I would change the fees. It seems like the state board charges an extreme fee for everything — there are renewal fees, late fees, “per chair” fees, and educator fees. - Michelle Brown, Beauty Education & Resources, Durham, N.C.
I’d ensure clarity in the state board guidelines as a whole and ensure proper enforcement. - Indigo Makong, Nails By Indigo, Washington D.C.
I would mandate that all schools have inspectors on site at all times during open hours. That way students learn right the first time. - Beth Leese, Nail Candy Salon & Shoppe, Ukiah, Calif.
I would do away with drills completely. - Brenda Rogers Gibson, Center for Nails, Perrysburg, Ohio
I would make penalties stiffer when a customer has been injured by a salon. - Karen Hodges, Morning Glory, Fort Myers, Fla.
I’d add chiropractic care to the curriculum for nail techs. - Samantha Levine, Kaffee’s Garden Spa, West Palm Beach, Fla.