Third attempt to exempt eyebrow threading technicians from licensing requirements fails
By Janae Blakeney / Capital News Service
A bill to help remove licensing requirements for eyebrow threading technicians failed to pass a House committee during the recent General Assembly session.
Eyebrow threading is a method to remove facial hair and eyebrows that began millennia ago in Asia, and gained popularity in Western culture.
People interested in pursuing eyebrow threading must obtain certification through wax technician courses overseen by the Board of Barbers and Cosmetology under the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. The curriculum requires individuals to complete a minimum of 115 hours of training and to pass a written exam and practical exam, according to state licensing requirements.
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The Board of Barbers and Cosmetology syllabus mentions waxing and temporary hair removal, but not threading specifically, according to LaFarn Burton, founder of LB Beauty Academy in Richmond. The state curriculum needs to delve into threading education more thoroughly, Burton said.
“It’s like it was just stuck in there, but no meat to the threading,” Burton said.
Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler, D-Virginia Beach, introduced House Bill 1498 to remove the requirement that an eyebrow threader must obtain an occupational license. The bill failed to advance out of a House subcommittee by a 3-5 vote.
Fowler introduced a similar bill in 2019, and Del. Kaye Kory, D-Falls Church, introduced a similar bill in 2015.
Convirs-Fowler did not return multiple calls and emails for a statement about the bill.
DPOR did not bring the bill to the General Assembly, and declined to comment on the legislation when contacted.
Meagan Forbes, director of legislation and senior legislative counsel for the Arlington-based Institute for Justice, testified to the subcommittee panel on behalf of the bill.
“Threading is a safe hair removal technique,” Forbes said. “It does not involve chemicals or dangerous devices, threaders simply use their hands and a single piece of cotton thread to remove hairs.”
Twenty states currently exempt threading “without issue,” according to Forbes.
Zahra Lakhani, a DPOR-licensed educator, recently retired after doing eyebrow threading for approximately 30 years.
It would be a step backwards to remove the license requirement for threading, she said. The education an eyebrow threader receives through instruction is important, Lakhani said.
“It’s very important to know the sanitary part of it, how to keep yourself safe, how to keep your customer safe, how to do the practice well and well skilled,” Lakhnai said.
Sanitization is essential for threading because technicians roll the thread on the clients’ faces, which could cause cross-contamination, according to Lakhani.
Rolling the thread cuts or burns the skin if the skin is not tight and held a specific way while removing hair from your face, she said.
“The consumer and the provider should always be protected,” Lakhani said.
If the waxing education requirement was removed, Lakhani thinks at least 60 hours of threading training would be “sufficient,” and should include sanitation training, theory and practice hours.
Stefania Rafeedie, who owns Arch and Beauty Studio LLC in Fairfax County, wrote DPOR to request an “Eyebrow Specialist” license in 2021, according to the letter accessed from the regulatory agency. More specific training is needed to provide specialized eyebrow treatments, according to Rafeedie.
“It is puzzling to me that while one of the above licenses are required, none of them teach a future practitioner how to perform these services,” Rafeedie stated.