WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Texas lawmakers are considering making it a little easier to cut hair professionally in the Lone Star State.
There are currently around three bills in the state house that have proposed cutting a number of required training hours by as much as a 1/3 to receive a cosmetology or barbers license.
Right now, those who wish to get into the cosmetology industry are required to receive 1,500 hours of training. The proposed changes would cut those hours down to 1,000.
"Our main goal is student success and we kind of feel that even with 1,500 hours it's still not enough time to train them to get them prepared and get out entry-level hair stylists out," said Angela Ward Cosmetology Instructor for Vernon College Century City Campus.
Ward said that the current 1,500 hours barely helps students understand the basics of the industry.
Vernon College Century City Cosmetology student Deja Keihl has already logged 100 training hours herself but said much of the skills required to thrive as a hair stylist can't be taught in such a small amount of time.
"I'm not ready at all. There's still a lot I need to learn I need to perfect. I wouldn't trust anyone that had 1,000 hours with my hair or my client's hair," said Keihl.
Fellow Vernon College Century City Cosmetology student Annabelle Turnbow said that like Keihl she feels Texans who want to cut hair professionally should be required to take the 1,500 training hours.
Turnbow said the training is about more than just cutting or coloring hair and that there's a misconception about how much knowledge is needed to obtain a professional cosmetology license.
"We work really hard. We have to learn things that people don't really think that we would have to learn such as anatomy and physiology and it's just a lot harder than people think it's meant to be," said Turnbow.
Students are also required to take a written exam at the end of their training and right now 44-percent or less than half pass that test per the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
Cosmetology Instructor Ward said that cutting the number of hours might encourage more people to enter training programs like the one at Vernon College but that it will not do anything to increase the quality of knowledge learned and could cause that pass-fail rate for the written exam to slip down even further.
Ward said that is bad for everyone in the industry from the instructor to the student to the businesses owner to the customer.