Governor Signs Shampoo Bill
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June 30, 2011
By Matt Armstrong – Journal Staff Writer (email@example.com) , journal-news.net
KEARNEYSVILLE – When Vi Nguyen came to this country from Vietnam a little more than 10 years ago, she never thought she would meet meet a state governor, let alone play a part in passing legislation affecting West Virginia’s beauty industry.
That’s what happened, however, when acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin came to Nguyen’s ViVo Hair Salon and Day Spa in Kearneysville to sign House Bill 2368, the West Virginia shampoo apprenticeship bill, on Wednesday afternoon.
“This is a lifetime experience. … I work very hard and my passion is very much in this industry,” Nguyen said. “It has been a wonderful experience and I feel very, very blessed that the governor and the government approved this bill.”
What the bill does is allow salons and similar businesses to hire shampooers who have taken a short training course in the state’s health and sanitary practices regarding washing hair. Salons previously were only allowed to hire graduates of beauty or barber schools as shampooers, Nguyen said.
She added that because she will be able to hire shampooers, it will free up time for stylists and allow them to focus on cutting and styling hair.
Nguyen, who started her career in the beauty industry in Virginia, said she knows many stylists who avoid West Virginia because they have to spend so much time shampooing here as opposed to states that don’t require a beauty school diploma to do shampoo.
This legislation should help make West Virginia a more attractive working environment for stylists, she added.
While Nguyen had the idea for the legislation, she credited Delegates John Doyle and Tiffany Lawrence, both D-Jefferson, with helping to make the bill a law. The bill had actually been in the works since Lawrence’s first term in the Legislature in 2009, Lawrence said.
Doyle and Lawrence worked with Delegate Jim Morgan, D-Cabell, who had a similar bill before the House of Delegates pertaining to barbers. The bill was able to pass this year because of several factors, including weakened lobbying power of barber and beauty colleges in the state, Doyle said.
“Vi Nguyen came to me with the idea and when she explained our rules, I thought ‘This is really silly’. … In order to wash someone’s hair you don’t need to know how to cut it, all you need to do is obey the health rules,” Doyle said. “We discovered that the reason for the rules being the way they were was featherbedding on the part of barber and beauty colleges. … They insisted that you had to have a degree.”
“We’ve had so many constituents complain about this issue over the years. … It’s been a long time coming for this bill,” Lawrence added. “A lot of people who are taking these apprenticeships are looking for part-time work as well, supplemental income. … It’s going to create a lot of jobs.”
Now that Nguyen can hire more workers, she said she plans to move her business to Harpers Ferry in the fall in order to expand and serve more clients. Additional information on ViVo Hair Salon and Day Spa is available online at www.vivodayspa.com, or by calling 304-728-0880.
– Staff writer Matt Armstrong can be reached at 304-725-6581, or firstname.lastname@example.org