The California Department of Consumer Affairs’ (DCA) Board of Barbering and Cosmetology (Board) is warning consumers about home beauty services advertised on social media by individuals both unlicensed and licensed by the Board.
The services being advertised online are typically done at the home of the individual who is performing services, or in a consumer’s home. Services outside of a licensed salon, spa, or shop are unlawful unless the individual is licensed by the Board and obtains a personal service permit (PSP) from the Board. A PSP allows a licensed professional to provide limited services outside of the licensed establishment where they work if they meet certain requirements.
There are potential serious health hazards that can put consumers at risk for infection when services are performed by unlicensed individuals who have not received proper education in infection control and do not follow guidelines, rules and regulations set by the California Department of Public Health, California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Occupational Safety and Health, and the Board.
Reported harm to consumers includes:
- Lash services—glue in the eye, glued top and bottom lashes that require medical intervention to be corrected, and conjunctivitis (pink eye).
- Hair-coloring services—scalp burns, transmitting lice from one client to another, broken hair, and hair falling out.
- Waxing services—significant burns requiring medical attention and disease transmission.
In addition to potential consumer harm, there is also potential harm to the environment. Many cities and counties do not allow services within residential neighborhoods due to concerns regarding chemical disposal.
“The Board is seeing an increase in consumer harm as a result of unlicensed individuals providing services in their homes,” said Board President Calimay Pham. “We have seen significant infections caused by individuals who have never received any type of training on health and safety.”
Consumers should never engage in business and allow services to be performed on them by individuals who are not licensed. The number one step consumers can take to protect their health and safety before their next appointment is to check the license of the individual providing services.
To verify an establishment or professional license, use DCA’s license search tool at https://search.dca.ca.gov. For information about personal service permits, including resources in multiple languages, visit the Board’s “Personal Service Permit Information” page.
ABOUT THE BOARD OF BARBERING AND COSMETOLOGY: The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology regulates cosmetologists, barbers, manicurists, estheticians, electrologists, and apprentices who provide services as well as the establishments where these services are performed. The Board also provides education to consumers and licensees on the potential dangers that face consumers while receiving these services. Learn more at www.barbercosmo.ca.gov.
ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS: The California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) protects consumers through oversight, enforcement, and licensure of professions, and helps consumers learn how to protect themselves from unscrupulous and unqualified individuals. Consumers can verify a license and file a complaint against a licensee online at www.dca.ca.gov or by phone at (800) 952-5210.