FRANKFORT, Ky. — Drastic changes to the Kentucky Board of Cosmetology could soon become a reality, a move those in the nail technician industry support.

What You Need To Know

  • Senate Bill 14 passed through committee and now heads to the full Senate for a vote

  • It would expand the state's Board of Cosmetology from five to seven members

  • Those two new members would be a nail technician and esthetician

  • The bill's sponsor and the board agree with the changes in the passed bill

Senate Bill 14, filed by State Sen. Reggie Thomas, D-Lexington, unanimously passed through committee Tuesday. It now heads to the full Senate for further action.

The bill would expand the Board of Cosmetology from five members to seven, with the additional seats being filled by a licensed nail technician and an esthetician.

“The more we have at the table, the better,” Thomas said.

It also removes the board’s ability to charge violators criminally and moves to a system of warnings and fines.

The board retains its ability to take emergency action against salons, “Upon verified probable cause or substantial evidence, documented by the board, that the emergency order is in the interest of public health, welfare and safety of any customer, patient or the general public.”

SB 14 also allows nail technicians who fail their exam to retake it after one month.

Di Tran is a nail technician, salon and nail school owner. He supports Senate Bill 14. (Spectrum News 1/Mason Brighton)

“This is super, super important to our community, and that's the main reason we are gathered here today,” said Di Tran, a nail technician, salon and nail school owner.

Tran is one of many in the nail industry advocating for these changes.

“We are asking for understanding; empathize with us," Tran said. "We are the people who simply want to work ... allow us to work, empower us to work, teach us to work." 

Tran added he's glad to see the recent appointment of Lianna Nguyen to the Board of Cosmetology, who was recently appointed, along with three others by Gov. Andy Beshear, D-Ky.

Nguyen is believed to be the first Asian American woman to represent nail technicians on this board.

“If we don't have the seat at the table, then we don't have an opportunity to share our stories,” Tran said. “When you don't understand the stories of where we [come] from ... then you don't know how to empathize, how to actually assist, how to actually build an actual solution.”

After working with the Board of Cosmetology on SB 14, Thomas said the two sides could agree on the language that passed Tuesday.