In response to numerous reports of health and sanitation issues arising from dirty salons and spas, New York City is considering the implementation of a new system of letter grades for cosmetology businesses similar to the system used for restaurants. In September, Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. announced plans to introduce legislation in the City Council to enact this letter-grade system. The system would be modeled after the current letter grading system used by the Department of Health to monitor restaurants and food service establishments.

“While most salon and spa owners operate clean, reputable establishments, some do not, and they are putting the health and safety of their customers at great risk,” says Diaz. “The proposals will go a long way toward ensuring that the people of this city have a clean and safe atmosphere to get their hair done, to get a manicure or pedicure, or any of the other practices typically found in spas and beauty establishments.”

In addition to creating a new letter grade and inspection system, Diaz’s proposal calls for the creation of a “customer’s bill of rights,” which would be hung conspicuously in each establishment. “The procedures used in many salons can almost be medical in nature, yet oversight of these businesses is very minimal,” says Diaz. “This new system will provide the consumer with necessary information they need to make informed choices about the safety of beauty salons, barbershops, spas, and other similar businesses.”

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