Friday, April 22, 2005

Texas targets rogue barbers

The State of Texas, acting through the Texas State Board of Barber Examiners, is planning a major assault on so-called rogue barbers who cut hair without the proper license and/or permit.

The hair-trimming scalawags -- operating out of unmarked vehicles and in back alleys, college dorm rooms and abandoned storefronts -- undercut market barber rates by offering cheaper prices to clients who aren't fussy about their coiffures or whether their sideburns are even.

The so-called "fly-by-night barbers" typically don't have adequate supplies of the blue liquid glass containers in which properly permitted barbers sterilize their combs, scissors, ear lobe clamps and other implements.

As state regulations now stand, illegal barbers are given a "warning" when they are caught cutting hair while unlicensed.

Under the new proposal, first-time offenders will be fined $100. If the rule change is approved, it would raise $10,000 during the first five years.

State officials are unsure how the increased revenue will be used, but there has been growing support for a Texas Barber Hall of Fame to trace the history of barbering in the state and to recognize outstanding Texas barbers who made contributions to the field.

Determining where the facility would be located is expected to spark intense competition between several Texas cities and towns who believe it could become a tourism draw.

State officeholders have not yet endorsed the informal proposal for the Texas Barber Hall of Fame and it is not expected to come up during the current legislative session.


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