Maggie Rants [and Raves]

Bad Math

by Maggie Franklin | December 15, 2010

This year we became Disneyland annual passport holders. Disneyland is — on a good trip—about a 3-1/2 hour drive for us, and I am determined to make our purchase worthwhile by making one weekend trip per month to the park until sometime in late spring when Saturdays will be blocked out for us.

This means that the BF gets to spend approximately nine hours a month stuck with me in the car. Yes, I know that a 3-1/2 hour drive does not add up to nine hours round trip — I said "on a good trip" and this is L.A. traffic we're talking about.

When the poor boy is going to learn to stop talking to me about my business, I'm not sure. I think he does it because he thrives on debate, and bringing up the nail industry is always a surefire way to get me to participate.

He got to listen to me yell and curse plenty on the way home this weekend and I promised myself that I would try to remember to blog about at least a few of the finer points we covered.

Currently, California requires 400 hours of "training" before you can apply for your manicuring license. And if I recall correctly, that is about to change to 500 hours.

When I went through the course 18 years ago, it was 350 hours.

Now here's something to consider: To date, the cosmetology course requires 1,600 hours.

A cosmetology license legally allows you to perform hair, skin care, and nail care services.

But the cosmetology course only requires 50 hours of training for nails.

So how is it that in order to be qualified to be a manicurist you need to study for 400 hours, but somehow, 50 hours is sufficient to qualify cosmetologists to do the same thing that a manicurist has to study 800% more time for?!

That is math that doesn't even make sense if you are a bureaucrat with absolutely no knowledge or experience in the field you are regulating!

Now, I'm on record as holding the rather unconventional opinion that licensing is a farce altogether, but accepting that licensing isn't going anywhere anytime soon, I am in favor of doing away with the cosmetology license as we know it. I think we should have a license for hair, a license for skin, and a license for nails. If you want to work in more than one field, get more than one license. At the very least our regulatory agencies need to stop pretending that an all-inclusive license can possibly qualify its holders to perform nail services when their education consisted of one-eighth the training time of licensees who hold a license for manicuring alone. If the state wants to continue to offer an all-inclusive license, then the course for that license needs to include as many hours of training for each discipline as it would take to complete the individual courses.

That means 400 hours of training for nails, and 600 hours of training for esthetics, in addition to however many hours is deemed necessary to do hair.

And, of course, this overlooks the obvious "quality vs. quantity" of our training altogether ... but one rant at a time, that's all you get.

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