VICTORY: Arizona Eyebrow Threaders Defeat Government Licensing Scheme

It’s just a piece of cotton thread.

And yet, in order to use that simple piece of thread in Arizona for the popular practice of removing unwanted facial hair, the state’s Board of Cosmetology demanded that highly skilled entrepreneurs sit through 600 hours of classroom instruction–with a price tag of up to $10,000.

And here’s the kicker: not one hour of instruction teaches anything about threading:

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Thankfully, five Arizona threading entrepreneurs teamed up with the Institute for Justice and fought back. And this week, they proved that you can stand up to government officials to defend your civil rights–and win.

As Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter Executive Director Tim Keller explains in the video above:

Threading is such a safe and sanitary practice that Arizona’s neighboring states – California, Utah and Nevada – have all exempted braiders from their states cosmetology licensing schemes. Our goal is to restore the right to earn an honest living to its proper role as a fundamental right in Arizona.

And so last June, the entrepreneurs and IJ filed a lawsuit challenging the Board’s requirement that Arizona threaders first obtain a cosmetology license in order to use a single piece of cotton thread to remove facial hair. And now those same entrepreneurs have joined the Arizona Attorney General’s Office in asking a Superior Court judge to sign a Consent Judgment that will end the litigation and prevent the Board from requiring threaders to become licensed cosmetologists.

Once the Consent Judgment is signed, every threader in Arizona will be able to work without fear of citations, fines or harassment from the Board.

Specifically, the Consent Judgment prohibits the Board from: (1) requiring cosmetology licenses for the practice of threading; (2) requiring that threading be done only in licensed salons; (3) imposing fines and/or civil or criminal penalties on unlicensed threaders; or (4) otherwise subjecting threaders to regulation for engaging in the practice of threading without a cosmetology license.

Juana Gutierrez, an Arizona eyebrow threader and one of IJ’s clients, said:

I am so grateful that I can work without having to first get a completely unnecessary license. I can focus on my work now and not on looking over my shoulder for some government inspector demanding to see my license.

What do you think about licensing eyebrow threaders? Let us know your thoughts on the IJ Facebook page. And for more on this week’s victory, click here.


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