Cosmetology Board sued over regulations

By Brad Cooper/ Sunflower State Journal

A Johnson County cosmetologist and her family are suing the state Cosmetology Board over what they say are excessive regulations for eyebrow threading.

Jigisha Modi, her husband and mother in law filed a lawsuit last week in Shawnee County alleging that state regulations for threading violates their state constitutional right to “conduct business free from unreasonable governmental interference.”

The couple are represented by the Kansas Justice Institute, which is part of the free-market-oriented Kansas Policy Institute.

Jigisha Modi is a licensed cosmetologist and operates two licensed esthetics establishments — one in Olathe and the other in Shawnee — along with her husband, Jignesh Biscuitwala.

Jigisha Modi and Jignesh Biscuitwala immigrated to the United States from Gujarat, India, the former in 1997 and the latter in 2003.

The salons, known as Miracle Eyebrows, primarily offer threading services, a technique that uses a twisted cotton thread to remove unwanted hair.

The lawsuit argued that state regulations make it impossible for Jigisha Modi to hire her mother-in-law — Jyotsna Biscuitwala — who has 30 years of threading experience.

Jyotsna Biscuitwala also is a plaintiff in the lawsuit

“The licensing requirements are simply too expensive, too onerous, and esthetician schools do not readily provide courses in Jyotsna’s native language, Gujarati,” the lawsuit states.

“The esthetics examinations are not offered in Jyotsna’s native language either. Regardless, it is the defendants’ licensing regime that prevents Jyotsna from using a piece of cotton thread to groom eyebrows, rather than a lack of experience or real-life credentials.”

The lawsuit says 1,000 hours are required to become a licensed esthetician in Kansas, of which only 40 are devoted to hair removal.

“Assuming each hair removal topic was evenly taught, only 1.667 hours would be devoted to threading theory, and only 5.0 hours would be devoted to the practice of threading.

“Therefore, of the mandatory 1,000 hours, esthetician school spends 99.333% teaching non-threading-specific information, which means threading-specific information totals .6667% of the esthetics curriculum.”

Further, the lawsuit contends it can cost more $12,000 to take the required coursework to get a license required by state law.