By Joseph Willits
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David Morris, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, is set to call for a change in the law on Wednesday, making it compulsory for all hairdressers to be state registered. A Bill under the Ten Minute Rule to amend the Hairdressers (Registration) Act 1964, will be introduced.
Morris, who has 28 years of hairdressing experience in Wigan and Bolton, before becoming an MP, has previously warned of the "wrong" and "dangerous" implications of unlicensed hairdressers:
"At present anybody can just open a hairdresser's shop and go about cutting and dying people's hair using corrosive chemicals without any training or licensing."
Drawing from his own experiences as a hairdresser, Morris said:
"When I ran salons I had people coming into me with pink and blue hair and scalp burns and hair snapping off at the root, and we'd have to sort them out because they'd had their hair and skin damaged by cowboys who don't know what they're doing".
According to Morris, the British Hairdressing Council (BHC) register "currently has 6,500 members out of an estimated 300,000 hairdressers currently working in Britain". His aim to make registration compulsory, has already won the backing of many in the profession, including celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton of Channel 4’s ‘Ten Years Younger Programme’ The Hair Council, APIL, the National Association of Screen Make-up Artists and Hairdressers.
Morris' proposals would also mean that in order to become state registered, hairdressers would have to obtain a City and Guilds or an NVQ level 2 qualification in hairdressing and complete salon training under the supervision of a state registered hairdresser. "Qualified hairdressers are professionals", Morris said; "the public has a right to know whether they are being served by a professional or not".
Later this week, Andrew Barton, and Stephen Warburton (a hairdresser in Morris' Morecambe constituency), will be in Parliament explaining the importance of state registration of hairdressers to MPs.
Figures from The Association of Personal Injury lawyers (APIL) indicate that 351injuries have been reported between March 2009 – March 2010, due to unregistered hairdressers.
Morris is hoping that his past reputation as a hairdresser, labelled "Mr. Fix it.", for repairing hair "after a hairdresser without the correct qualifications and experience had applied strong chemicals, resulting in an allergic reaction" will be applied on a national, legislative level. Morris said:
"If this is successful it will mean that only qualified hairdressers can be registered and anybody who is guilty of malpractice and negligence can be struck off."