Barbers express concern as Florida governor moves to deregulate licensing boards

Gov. Ron DeSantis looks to remove 'harmful' regulations

ORLANDO, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis visited Central Florida Thursday to discuss how the state can deregulate industries to create more opportunities for people and businesses across the state.

DeSantis hosted the "Florida Deregathon" at Valencia College.

He invited the state's 23 professional licensing boards to the event. Representatives reviewed the regulations DeSantis called "harmful" and could be eliminated. The governor said this could help more people start their careers.

"We want a licensure system that is protecting consumers, that is doing things in the public interest," DeSantis said. "But to the extent it goes beyond that, to me, that is putting up road blocks that make it more difficult for people to succeed." 

One example of deregulation the governor provided was decreasing the number of training hours required to become a licensed barber.

David Coleman has been a barber for 20 years. He opened his business, Coleman's Barbershop, in Oviedo almost three years ago.

He said he went through hundreds of hours of training to get his license. 

"It's very important for the public to know that barbers are trained, it's intense. We have to know the whole anatomy of hair and of diseases, skin disorders and all of that stuff," Coleman said.

He's concerned making any changes to the licensure process could be bad for business.

"You should make it harder to get your barber's license so that way you have a big quality of barbers out here in the industry cutting hair," Coleman said.

Barber Marcos LeBron has been cutting hair for 25 years. He said he went through 1,200 hours of training to get his license. He's also worried about deregulating the industry.

"If you're going to deregulate then that means the curriculum is going to shrink. Who decides what's important and what's not?" LeBron said. 

No official action was taken during the event, but the governor told business representatives to come ready to discuss and identify, which regulation practices are most stifling and could potentially be eliminated.

About the Author:

Amanda Castro, a proud UCF alum, joined the News 6 team in November 2015 and was promoted to weekend morning anchor in April 2016. Go Knights!