LA Board of Cosmetology putting brakes on mobile salon

Published: Jul. 30, 2015 at 7:36 PM CDT|Updated: May. 20, 2016 at 8:12 PM CDT
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BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - A South Bossier hair stylist says she wants to take her talent on the road, but state law is preventing her from doing so.

Hair stylist Jennifer Menard has always had a passion for helping others. It was that passion and working with the elderly and disabled that gave her the idea to come up with Glamour on the Geaux. According to Jennifer, it is Louisiana's first fully functioning mobile hair salon complete with a wheelchair lift for those with limited mobility.

"I could get my clients that are in the nursing home, also my clients that are not," says Menard. "And, get to those that are at home that can't get out to get to the salon."

A great idea that was met with some opposition after a visit from the State Board of Cosmetology inspector.

"We don't license mobile salons, I said 'what do you mean there are no rules against it' and she said we don't license mobile salons," says Menard.

The problem is, Jennifer had already received her salon license from the State Board of Cosmetology but even with that license, the boards wouldn't give her permission to run a salon out of a vehicle.

"She said, 'well you're barking up the wrong tree, you're going to have to go to the state to get the law rewritten and revised in order for it to be allowed,'" claims Menard.

The state law doesn't speak against a mobile salon, actually there is no law regulating one at all. What the law does is define a salon as part of a premises and a premises, according to "Black's Law" dictionary means a room, shop, building or definite area.

Jeannette Sharbano, a customer of Glamour on the Geaux, says she sees this beauty shop on wheels as more of a help than a nuisance.

"I'm 85 and I can't get out every time I want to go to the beauty shop," says Sharbano. "I think her main goal is to help people and she's always been so dedicated to helping elderly people and handicapped people."

Until Jennifer gets over this hurdle, Glamour on the Geaux will have to come to a screeching halt.

We reached out to the attorney for the LA Board of Cosmetology, Sheri Morris, her response is below:

"Louisiana law requires the Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology to license individuals who perform cosmetology services for a fee and beauty shops or salons wherein cosmetology services are performed provided the individual or salon meets all requirements. Individuals licensed by the Board must perform services at a licensed facility unless one of the following exceptions apply:

  • at the residence of a client who is chronically ill or disabled,
  • in a hospital or infirmary, at a funeral establishment,
  • at a temporary site such as a television, motion picture, video or theatrical production, photographic session or similar activity, or
  • at a retail establishment to demonstrate cosmetics in connection with the sale of cosmetics), La. R.S. 37:591.

La. R.S. 37:591(D) defines "Beauty shop" or "salon" in part as "any premises upon or within which cosmetology is practiced for a fee." Premises are generally defined as a house or building, together with its land and outbuildings. Black's Law dictionary defines premises in part as, "lands and tenements; an estate, including land and buildings thereon; . . . The area of land surround a house, and actually or by legal construction forming one inclosure with it. A distinct and definite locality, and may mean a room, shop, building or other definite area, or a distinct portion of  real estate." [Emphasis added.]

All licensed beauty shops and salons must have the required physical, sanitary and administrative facilities, La. R.S. 37:591. In order to protect the health, welfare and safety of the public, salons are required to be inspected twice annually to ensure that the facilities have proper equipment to maintain sanitary conditions. In addition to the requirements in state law and the Board's rules, beauty shops must comply with all local zoning laws applicable to the operation of businesses which serve the public.

Ms. Menard advised the Board that she was performing cosmetology services in her bus which does not have restroom facilities. Ms. Menard stated that she discontinued providing cosmetology services in her bus while parked at her residence upon the request of local officials who advised she was violating local zoning laws. Additionally, Ms. Menard advised that when she moved her bus to a vacant lot near her home, the property owner who she did not grant her permission to occupy the property requested that she move her bus from the property."

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