If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times: An up-to-date license is absolutely key to a cosmetology career.
If you’re a cosmetologist or future cosmetologist, put on your big girl panties and make sure you’re a legal practitioner in your state. Yes, there’s an exam, and yes, it costs money, but it’s not about you. It’s about protecting consumers and maintaining safety standards.
As for the consumers out there, if you’re looking for beauty services, don’t trust someone just because they call themselves a “cosmetologist.” Make sure you see their license. Make sure you double-check with state licensing agencies.
These reminders come after last Thursday’s conviction of Elsa Then, a Bronx woman who was accused in the 2009 death of Fiordaliza Pichardo, as reported by The New York Daily News. Then had been running an illegal – but successful – cosmetology practice when Pichardo came to her to receive silicone injections into her rear end and thighs. The day after the injections, Pichardo died from cardiac arrest after some of the silicone entered her bloodstream and got lodged in her lungs.
Pichardo’s daughter, who was present at the treatment, testified that Then had used Bounty paper towels and Krazy Glue to seal the injection site.
Then was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and faces up to four years in prison.
Now, obviously, this is an extreme example, and just because a cosmetologist is unlicensed doesn’t mean that they are a deadly weapon poised to kill again. But it should serve as a wake-up call that the most important part of the beauty profession is executing services in a clean, sanitary environment using safe techniques. It is unacceptable to practice cosmetology and dangerous to patronize any cosmetologist who doesn’t uphold their licensure and maintain the highest standards.
Great hair, great skin, great nails – that’s all of the fun stuff. Protecting our clients’ health and well-being while they’re in our chairs – that’s the baseline. No exceptions.