Occupational Licensing

Occupational Licensing Abuse in Texas


The San Antonio Business Journal reports on an economic liberty case filed today by the Texas Institute for Justice.

Wesley Hottot, lead attorney for the Institute for Justice Texas Chapter, says Texas' proud heritage as a beacon for entrepreneurship is in danger "when the state tries to regulate every new industry rather than trusting entrepreneurs and consumers."

Hottot says eyebrow threading is an ancient technique for removing unwanted eyebrow hairs using tightly wound cotton thread. "Threading is a booming industry in Texas because it is cheaper, faster and less painful than waxing," he says.

But now the [Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation] has threatened this small business-based industry by requiring practitioners to obtain what Hottot says are "expensive and irrelevant licenses in Western-style cosmetology."

"Threading is not mentioned anywhere in state law, yet TDLR expects threaders, some with over 20 years of experience, to immediately stop working and spend $20,000 obtaining up to 1,500 hours of instruction in government-approved beauty schools that do not even teach threading," Hottot says. "Further, threaders must pass government-approved cosmetology exams that do not test threading."

Read the whole thing here. And click below for an IJ video on the case:

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  1. Of course the requirement is absurd.
    That being said, a barber in Jordan used thread to remove hair from my ears. While I can’t comment on waxing, I can say that dipillation by thread hurts.

    1. I had a foreign barber (well, it was in Ireland and he was some flavor of Middle Eastern/South Asian – so I guess to me he was meta-foreign) remove ear hair with a flaming cotton ball that had been doused in alcohol. It was the best haircut I’ve ever had, hands down. But you do get a bit anxious when your barber ignites a cotton ball and points it toward your dome.

    2. I’m pretty sure any method of removing hair from the ears by the roots would be painful. I’ve had my brows threaded and the sensation is barely noticeable.

  2. People with partisan, pro-eyebrow-threading agendas are no better than the likes of Hitler. There, I said it.

  3. Hitler, he only had one brow.

    1. “He’s right, you know.”

    2. No. He only had one nut.

  4. But if it helps to curtail the effects of global warming . . .

    1. Hey, Tony, guys… party at my house. Bring some Astroglide. I’m fresh out.

  5. Threadjack?

  6. I love IJ and all, but the economic liberties cases they’re taking are sounding more and more like they come straight from The Onion.

  7. What the devil? I used to do threading way back in high school drama class. I did the makeup, which was an awesome way to meet chicks. If not for threading most of those hot babes you lust after would have French style unibrows.

    1. You did MAKEUP in high school drama to meet CHICKS? Ya right. I hope you’re closet is a walk in.

  8. Goebels had two but he didn’t know how

  9. Texans are just as frivolous and vain as anybody else…is their Lone State heritage supposed to inoculate them from the nosiness of their own government institutions? It is considerably cheaper to move to a less fat state (yeah, I said fat) than to fork out $20,000 to make employees of the TDLR more fat. Just don’t move to California, ye threaders, because the Professional Beauty Federation of California has its eyes on you.

    Don’t get me started on the licensing of psychics in San Francisco and New York…they shoulda seen it coming.

  10. This is surely the handiwork of busybody Democrats. They want to Nerf-coat everything in a vain, hollow attempt to create a danger-free society.

    1. Nah. Racist Republicans who don’t like it when dark-skinned, female immigrants bring with them a skill that isn’t familiar and allows them to compete against American citizens using familiar skills and technology.

      1. Bipartisanship!

  11. Color me shocked that the state of Texas would embrace a new method of rent seeking. Anyone who thinks this state embraces liberty hasn’t ever lived here very long (or has a very poor grasp of “liberty”).

  12. Hottot’s quotes sound eerily like similar quotes that surrounded the Los Angeles hair-braiding licensing requirement controversy of a few years ago. Indeed, it seems as of Hottot simply got hold of the hair-braiding material, scratched out “hair-braiding” everywhere it appeared and wrote “threading” in purple crayon, before reciting the result for the benefit of reporters and other media folk.

    Not that I am criticizing. I applaud his sense of economy: Why write from scratch press releases for which perfectly good boiler-plate language already exists? Why waste ANY MORE EFFORT AND RESOURCES than necessary to rebuff infringement of our rights by an overreaching government? The Texas bozos who come up with this requirement aren’t worth it.

    On the other hand, I am encouraged for California’s future. For some time, we have watched businesses and entrepreneurs abandon our State and move to Texas, precisely because the Lone Star State has wisely refrained from silly laws, rules, and regulations that hold business down. Said more simply, Texas is perceived as being more “business friendly.” But if they keep pulling bonehead requirements such as the threaders face out of their lower colon, Texans may someday observe that the flow of talent and capital is reversing and heading back in the direction of California.

  13. Seventeen comments? The reason this post gets no love is that the bitter psychics who are required to get licensed in San Francisco and New York warned us of the threat to threading months ago.

  14. The place I have worked for 20+ years has been in the process of closing down over the past couple years and the last of us will be jobless come the spring. I was talking to one of the maintenance guys who has worked here for many years. He also has run a one man auto body shop out of his garage for the past thirty years. The state (NY) recently came in and informed him that he is required to take classes and get licensed in order to prime and paint cars. This in addition to new requirements for expensive specialized safety equipment and all of this at his own expense – roughly $70,000.00 – effectively putting him completely out of business. I heart NY. The least free state in the union by virtually every possible measure. It is no wonder it is an economic wasteland.

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