How Tennessee's New Regulations Could Impact The Beauty Industry
In a significant move to prioritize safety and professionalism within the beauty industry, the *Tennessee legislature recently adopted House Bill 103 (HB 103) on May 3, 2023. This landmark legislation introduces crucial regulations for individuals providing eyelash extension services or seeking to enter the field. The primary goal of HB 103 is to ensure integrity, credibility, and, most importantly, the health and safety of both practitioners and clients. Today, we’re diving into the bill, so you don’t have to, and breaking down the legislation.
*At the time of this article, the bill is effective only in Tennessee.
Understanding the Eyelash Extensions License Requirements
Under HB 103, the Tennessee State Government has outlined specific requirements that must be met to apply for an eyelash extensions license. These requirements are designed to ensure that practitioners are well-trained, knowledgeable about health and safety considerations, and capable of providing high-quality services. Here's a breakdown of the essential requirements:
- 300 Hours of Training: Individuals seeking an eyelash extensions license must complete a comprehensive 300-hour training program. This training includes a combination of classroom instruction and practical experience. During this training, prospective eyelash technicians will learn about various critical aspects, such as:
- Recognizing infectious and contagious diseases of the eye.
- Understanding allergic reactions and their management.
- Proper sanitation practices to maintain a clean and safe environment.
- Mastering the correct application procedures for eyelash extensions.
- Training on Recognizing Signs of Domestic Violence: Another significant component of HB 103 is the inclusion of training on recognizing signs of domestic violence. This one-hour training, which can be conducted either in person or online, equips eyelash technicians with the skills to identify signs of domestic violence in their clients. Additionally, they are taught how to respond sensitively and appropriately and how to refer clients to relevant resources.
- Age Requirement: Applicants for an eyelash extensions license must be 16 years of age or older.
- Non-Refundable Exam Fee: A non-refundable exam fee is required as part of the licensing process. This fee helps cover the cost of administering the licensing examination, ensuring that only qualified individuals are granted licenses.
- Exemptions for Licensed Cosmetologists, Estheticians, and Master Barbers
It's important to note that individuals who already hold licenses in cosmetology, esthetics, or master barbering and have been practicing eyelash extensions are not required to complete the additional 300-hour training. This exemption acknowledges the expertise and training these professionals have already undergone in their respective fields. However, they are still required to apply for the eyelash extensions license and meet all other eligibility criteria, such as the domestic violence training and age requirement.
The Impact of HB 103
House Bill 103 represents a significant step forward in ensuring that eyelash extension services in Tennessee are not only aesthetically pleasing but also safe and professional. By setting rigorous training standards and including domestic violence awareness, the state aims to protect both practitioners and clients.
These regulations will likely have several positive effects on the industry:
- Enhanced Safety: With a greater emphasis on recognizing and mitigating risks such as eye infections and allergic reactions, clients can trust that their safety is a top priority.
- Professionalism: Mandatory training ensures that technicians are well-versed in the proper procedures and hygiene standards, leading to a more professional and credible industry.
- Domestic Violence Awareness: The inclusion of domestic violence training reflects a broader societal commitment to addressing critical issues, even in unexpected places like beauty salons. This training equips professionals to potentially help clients in need.
- Quality of Service: As practitioners become more skilled and knowledgeable, the quality of eyelash extension services is likely to improve, leading to greater customer satisfaction.
Industry Veteran Weighs In
Tammy Phan, Sugarlash PRO Global Education Director with over 8 years of teaching and a beauty industry veteran of 14 years, has observed the transformation of the beauty industry over the past decade. She has witnessed how eyelash extensions have become a current sensation among the younger generations, offering the allure of effortless beauty without the need for makeup or mascara. However, Tammy is well aware of the prevalent apprehension surrounding eyelash extensions due to the unsettling tales of "eyelashes gone wrong."
In Canada, where the industry remains unregulated in most Provinces and Territories, almost anyone - and she means anyone - can simply pick up a pair of tweezers, set up shop, and start offering eyelash extension services. While social media platforms are an excellent tool for education, and make a lot of information readily accessible to everyone, Tammy encourages anyone with an interest in becoming a lash artist to pursue and invest in the education necessary to mitigate any potential risks and lawsuits.
“[Being a ‘self-taught’ lash artist causes] a lot of inconsistency in eyelash extensions with poor techniques, poor applications, and damaged natural lashes. In even worse scenarios, [improperly educated lash artists can cause clients] pain, possible eye damage, and vision loss.” – Tammy Phan, Sugarlash PRO Global Education Director
While Tammy acknowledges the lack of regulation in the industry, she remains a staunch advocate for pushing for future regulation. She strongly advises individuals to conduct thorough research before selecting a technician where lash education remains unregulated - which is most states and Canada. This includes reviewing portfolios, verifying certifications (especially the source of training), assessing the technician's tenure in the industry, and, most importantly, seeking referrals and reading reviews.
Tammy believes that Tennessee’s HB 103 will have a profound impact on the eyelash industry for the better. By ensuring the implementation of health and safety practices across the state, clients can be assured that their health and safety is being protected while also enforcing stricter education for lash artists. This newfound assurance that technicians possess the necessary training and qualifications to perform services safely and confidently will likely encourage hesitant clients and aspiring students to embrace the profession. Tammy hopes that Canada will follow suit in the near future by introducing regulations, thereby bestowing more credibility and integrity upon the profession as a whole.