I admire and respect beauty professionals—your passion, creativity, sense of community and commitment to helping others.I love the beauty industry because I have spent time getting to know you and learning how you work.

Unfortunately, outside of the professional beauty industry, most people don’t understand it. They don’t understand how hard you work to learn your craft. They don’t understand how important you are to your customers or the impact you have on the economy.

This was evidenced recently in Indiana, where a bill was proposed that would have eliminated licensing for cosmetologists and a handful of other professions.

Fortunately, our community mobilized, with stylists, estheticians, salon owners, manufacturers, associations, school owners, media and some of our industry’s better known celebrities sending over 18,000 messages to Indiana legislators. They explained how harmful it would be to cosmetology professionals and to consumer safety if the bill passed.

The bill’s author, Representative Dave Wolkins, withdrew it, citing the persuasiveness of beauty professionals who came forward to testify and protest.

But rather than celebrating a victory, we should see this as a cautionary tale. As state governments scramble to fi nd ways to reduce their budgets, such “deregulation conversations” are cropping up across the country. Although we dodged a bullet this time, the “next time” is already underway.

In New Hampshire, three bills have been introduced that would directly impact the professional beauty industry—HB1265, HB1431 and HB1538. The same associations and industry leaders who led the charge in Indiana have again reached out to our professional community asking for signatures to a letter opposing the New Hampshire legislation.

Both of these situations remind us the best way to protect our industry and your profession is to make sure we are vigilant, connected and ready to work together at a moment’s notice. At MODERN, we are proud to do our part in keeping you informed, but we must all rely on and support our industry associations, who are on the frontlines of legislative and other issues that impact your career.

Read editor Stacey Soble’s report at modernsalon.com/IndustryRallies.