Barbers Get a Reprieve: The Hair Police Have Been Called Off (For Now)
You probably didn’t even know they existed, but the province’s so-called “hair police” have been temporarily called off while Ontario consults with the barber industry.
At issue is whether or not barbers want to be licensed as hairstylists or as barbers. Ontario College Training Minister Brad Duguid announced that his office will confer with the province’s barbers after inspectors with the Ontario College of Trade (OCT) raised some (presumably well-kept) eyebrows by handing out tickets and demanding additional training of local barbers who don’t already have training or a license in hairstyling.
The OCT began enforcing the rules recently, despite the fact that the province had given barbers a two-year reprieve from college membership until 2015. Duguid has requested that the Ontario College of Trades and its inspectors will stop enforcement until the consultations are complete.
“Other than my family and the premier, there’s probably nobody more important in my life than my barber,” Duguid joked. “We don’t only trust our barbers with our hair, [we] trust them to be able to make judgements for themselves to how they want their profession to be designated.”
Sean Reid, from the Stop the Trades Tax campaign, says it’s ridiculous to force barbers to learn to dye and perm women’s hair when many have exclusively cut men’s hair for years.
“That’s the part that makes no sense,” Reid said. “It’s like telling Eric Clapton that he can’t be a musician because he doesn’t know how to play the clarinet. They’re enforcing a licence that’s irrelevant to most barbers in the province.”
If the hair police haven’t scared you away and you’re still interested in becoming a barber or hairstylist, here are some of the schools that offer programs related to the beauty industry: