Going to the nail salon is something Monica Dupree loves.
“It just makes you feel good…beautiful,” she said.
And for her, a big part of a beautiful experience is going to a salon that’s clean and where workers are professional and clean, too.
“If there isn’t cleanliness going on, then you know that terrible things can happen,” she said. “And we don’t want that so that’s the key. Number one on my list.”
Right now, there’s a bill proposed in Hartford to regulate the industry and require licenses for nail technicians, etheticians, and eyelash technicians. CT State Respentative, Jillian Gilchrest from West Hartford is co-sponsoring it.
“Unregulated salons offer a host of potential harm to not only consumers, but the employees who work there,” she said in a statement. “Through licensing, we can enact much needed protection standards for workers and with standardized training we would surely increase the health and safety quality of salons across our state.”
Michael Cervellino says that sounds great. But…
“Why do we need to change this? I don’t undertand. It’s not broke,” he said.
Cervellino runs the Belle Academy of Cosmetology – a state-certified training school in Waterbury for make-up artists, nail technicians and estheticians. Belle Academy is the only school in Connecticut that teaches the nail technician program approved by the State Office of Higher Education. He says his nail program requires 100 hours of training and the proposed bill would increase the training hours to a level that’s too many and potentially, too costly.
“How many full sets of acryllics are you gonna do in 500 hours?” he said. “A lot! If you haven’t gotten it down in 100, that’s crazy. You’re wasting you’re wasting your time here.”
He says the higher number of training hours could cripple salons because workers would have to make up all of the additional training hours away from their salons. The extra time could mean extra fees to pay for it.
“Half these people would close up,” he said.
If that happened, then he fears Conecticut would miss out on potential sales tax revenue. Cervellino says to him, this isn’t an issue of health vs. money. But, he questions if this bill is right for Connecticut.
“We teach this program for 100 hours,” Cervellino said. “We’ve been approved by the Office of Higher Education in Connecticut for ten years. Why take this program and stretch it out for 500 hours because some people think that they need more education? Let’s keep the 100 hour program and keep it affordable and get everyone licensed the right way.”