Senator Housley introduces legislation to protect freelance hair and makeup artists

Legislation authored by Senator Karin Housley (R-St. Marys Point) aims to reverse new Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners rules requiring freelance artists to obtain a full cosmetology salon manager license before styling hair and applying makeup at weddings, proms, and other social gatherings. The push for the legislation comes after freelance hair and makeup artists filed a lawsuit challenging the Board’s rules.

“We are not talking about full-fledged cosmetologists who work in a salon. These are freelance artists we hire for weddings, proms, graduations, and other events that had been working without problem for years – until the state decided to weigh in. There is no reason freelance artists should be subject to the same 4,000-hour training as full-service cosmetologists,” said Senator Housley. “They aren’t looking to cut hair, work with chemicals, do nails – or even work in salons. My bill would remove the regulatory burden and allow them to continue to provide their services in our communities – in the same safe manner they did before.”

Senate File 2898, introduced during the 2019 session with significant bipartisan support, would exempt freelance artists from being required to obtain a full cosmetology license for basic freelance hair and makeup services. The legislation is narrowly focused for stylists cleaning, drying, arranging, or styling hair, and for makeup artists applying cosmetics to the face or skin.

“You don’t need a full license to sell makeup at a department store counter or to do hair and makeup for fashion shows or film productions – so why require it here? All the Board has done is push well-intentioned people out of business,” said Senator Housley.

Senator Karin Housley, of St. Marys Point, represents Forest Lake, Stillwater, and the surrounding St. Croix Valley in the Minnesota Senate. She is chair of the Senate Family Care and Aging Committee and is an assistant majority leader.