What Consumers Should Know as Cosmetology Industry Expands
COLUMBIA - As other industries have slowed over the past several years, the cosmetology industry has grown close to 10 percent in the past two years.
As the number of salons, barber shops and licensed cosmetologists grow, the job of regulatory institutes becomes greater. So what should you as a consumer look out for before you make an appointment?
According to Rhonda Robb, Director of Esthetics at Cosmetology Concepts Institute, it's all about what you see when you walk in the front door. Robb says salons owners and employees need to "Walk the walk and talk the talk, so to speak."
Robb has worked in the cosmetology industry ever since she graduated high school, and has been teaching for decades. Her school enrolls 50 students maximum at a time, and she says the weak economy was a blessing in disguise for the industry. She says demand to get into cosmetology school tends to grow when the economy is down, because it is an easy industry to get into.
This trend can be seen in the overall industry growth. According to the Missouri Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners, there are currently 14,990 salons and barbershops in Missouri.
The Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners is entirely funded by payments from licensed individuals and companies in the state. Each salon or barber shop is inspected a minimum of one time per year- more if the board deems it necessary.
A list of active probations, suspensions and license revocations is available here. In the last list posted, four Mid-Missouri salons or individuals appeared on the list of license revocations- The Columbia Beauty Academy, Quang Ngoc Nguyen, Karon Rowe, and Muhsin Yasar.
According to Robb, consumers need to check the validity of their salon and its employees licenses.
"You need to look to see if they have a valid license, because that is an ongoing problem," Robb said.
And her husband and Cosmetology Concepts co-owner agrees.
"Consumers can do their research. There's enough out there with our Internet and on-line, you can find all kinds of good and bad places," Terry Robb said.
If you would like to search your own salon for consumer complaints, or fill out a from yourself, click here.