Kansas mom sues state cosmetology board over a sugaring licensing requirement

Sugaring, an ancient Egyptian form of hair removal that dates back 30,000 years, is at the center of a constitutional lawsuit filed by Bryn Green of Hays. She wants to offer the service in which hair is removed by the root with a simple paste made of sugar, lemon juice, and water. However, the Kansas Board of Cosmetology requires practitioners to be licensed cosmetologists, which Green is not. The license requires 1,000 of instruction at an esthetician school or 1,500 hours of instruction at a cosmetology school, with no more than 1% of it in sugaring.

The closest esthetician school that teaches sugaring is more than two hours away, which is prohibitive for the young Mom of a one-year-old. There is no sugarer in Hays, so Green drives to Dodge City for the treatments since she prefers the technique over waxing. She sees an entrepreneurial opportunity in providing the service in her hometown but is being blocked by state regulators.

Bryn Green believes it is unconstitutional to require a license for sugaring,

Green is represented free of charge by the Kansas Justice Institute; like The Sentinel, KJI is part of the Kansas Policy Institute. Its Litigation Director is Samuel MacRoberts:

“People shouldn’t be forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars on irrelevant cosmetology school, and take irrelevant examinations, just to be able to use sugar, lemon juice, and water to safely remove unwanted hair. Bryn isn’t suing the government for money. She’s fighting to protect everyone’s rights under the Kansas Constitution—the right to earn an honest living”

Over the decades, occupational licensing has grown along with a government that oversees the process, although the Obama Administration determined: “most research does not find that licensing improves quality or public health and safety.”

Bryn believes that licensing also has no effect on her goal of becoming a sugarer:

“Sugaring is an entirely safe and natural process; it’s been around for centuries. It is ridiculous to me that the requirement is to spend thousands of dollars, tens of thousands of dollars, and thousands of hours to obtain a license that I am literally going to use 1% of.”