The iconic rotating red, white and blue pole found outside traditional barber shops is now at the center of new legislation.
State Sen. John Gleason, D-Flushing, is pushing for legislation that will allow Michigan to join 10 other states that regulate the display of barber poles for only licensed barbers, according to The Detroit News. The lawmaker said he would like the pole to continue to be a symbol of traditional, fully licensed barbers, rather than any place that offers haircutting services.
The bill was introduced in November, according to michiganvotes.org, and would prohibit establishments like hair salons from using the barber pole unless there was an accredited barber offering services there.
Barber skills, licensing
Barbers must complete 2,000 hours of coursework at a licensed barber college and pass an examination approved by the board and the department, according to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Cosmetologists in Michigan are required to complete 1,500 hours with different requirements.
Not everyone weighing in on the idea of making a distinction between barbers and cosmetologist feels that the government should regulate it, though.
State Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, proposed Michigan remove its licensing procedures for barbers back in March, The Detroit News reported.
"I just think this is one of many areas that (people) just don't need the government's … permission to have a job," he told The News. "I'm just saying you can be a barber without having to pay the government some kind of a fee and have them overseeing how you cut hair."