House Approves Bill To Let 16 And 17-Year-Olds Get Cosmetology, Barbering Licenses

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa House has passed a bill to let older teenagers get a state license so they can cut and style hair in a salon or barber shop.

Current Iowa law requires someone to get a high school degree or GED before they may get a cosmetology or barbering license. The bill says anyone who’s completed 10th grade and finished training at a school for barbers and cosmetologists could get a state license if they’re at least 16 years old. Representative Derek Wulf, a Republican from Hudson, says schools that train cosmetologists and barbers in Iowa do require that students have completed high school, so it’s redundant to keep that requirement in state law.

And Wulf says Iowa would not be unique in letting older teens get cosmetology licenses.

Representative Amy Nielsen, a Democrat from North Liberty, supports other parts of the bill, but she says lowering the age may encourage teens to drop out of high school.

The bill passed the House on an 84-to-11 vote. A similar bill has passed a committee in the Iowa Senate, but it would not allow 16 and 17-year-olds to become licensed cosmetologists or barbers. Other parts of BOTH bills would dramatically reduce the schooling required to get a state cosmetology or barbering license. Under current law, students must complete 21 hundred hours of classroom instruction and supervised cutting and styling of hair to get a license. The bill would reduce that by about 26 percent. The House and Senate bills also would combine the Iowa Board of Barbering and the Iowa Board of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences.



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