Texas bill suggests reducing cosmetology instructional hours by one-third

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - A bill proposed in the Texas Legislature would reduce the number of required hours for getting a cosmetology license from 1,500 hours to 1000 hours.

Proponents say this is a good way to get cosmetologists into their careers faster. Opponents say the change would threaten consumer health and safety.

Crystal Rodriguez Burgess of Manuel and Theresa's School of Hair Design is a staunch opponent, as are her parents who own the Bryan-based cosmetology school.

"Education needs to be stressed in this field," said Rodriguez Burgess. "It's such a broad study, from safety to sanitation to just these students having confidence in what they're trained to do is so important."

Rodriguez Burgess says her students also balked at the idea of cutting their educational hours by one-third.

"We don't know how they could learn all of the things they need to learn in that time," said Rodriguez Burgess. Normally, the 1,500 hours takes students about one year to complete at Manuel and Theresa's.

"There is so much contact with consumers' hair and skin, and these chemicals can be dangerous," said Rodriguez Burgess, stressing that the academic side of the study is just as important as the vocational.

For the full conversation, see the video player above.

For a full copy of the proposed legislation, see the related links.