New bill looks to deregulate ‘sugaring’ has local estheticians alarmed

LEAWOOD, Kan. (KCTV) – A bill looking to deregulate “sugaring,” a type of hair removal service in Kansas has landed on Governor Laura Kelly’s desk.

If passed, it will exclude sugaring from the list of practices regulated by the Kansas Board of Cosmetology.

“That deregulation just really kind of puts the public as a whole in danger,” said Lisa Franiuk, an esthetician. Franiuk says those in her profession are deeply troubled about the possibility of Senate Bill 434 passing.

Currently in Kansas, it’s a crime to practice unlicensed sugaring. This bill would change that.

“They’re going to use this ball of wax all over your body, who says they are not going to use it on the next person too, who knows? said Franiuk.” If sugaring is deregulated, it would allow anyone without training, licensing, or background screening to provide the service. Providers of this service would also no longer be screened for felonies.

Although sugaring can be done on any part of the body, the primary area is the genitals.

“Imagine a 13, 14-year-old being dropped off at the mall and going and having this done, or anywhere. I’m not just even saying the mall, this can be in someone’s living room, I’ve seen in someone’s she shed in someone’s backyard,” said Nichole Hines, who has been an esthetician for over 30 years, “it can be anywhere with no repercussions with what is going on with young women.” The issue all started when a young woman, Bryn Green, from Hays, Kansas was providing sugaring services, unlicensed.

She ended up suing the board of cosmetology. Then, senator Renee Erickson of Wichita, introduced a bill deregulating the service, which passed the House and Senate.

KCTV5 reached out to Senator Erickson, but did not get a response. According to the Kansas Justice Institute, representing Green – they said the bill should be adopted because it would be a “legislative solution to a terribly unjust, unnecessary, and unconstitutional occupational licensing regime negatively impacting Kansas business owners, aspiring sugarers, and consumers.”

During that testimony in Topeka, the institute argued sugaring instructions make up just one percent of cosmetology curriculum. They also said the licensing examination doesn’t test effective or safe sugaring practices. Nichole Hines has been vocal about getting the bill shut down and is one of four women in Kansas who have testified. She’s worried about the precedent it will set.

“What you have are establishments, facilities, businesses that can have a sign up that says sugaring but that’s not what’s happening inside,” said Hines.

While supporters believe the current regulations are hurting people starting their own sugaring business, to make a living, many licensed estheticians said maintaining strict standards within the beauty industry protects the public from harm.

“Where does deregulation stop?” asked Franiuk. “Are we going to say, ‘OK, well just anybody can do a TCA peel,’ that’s something a doctor does, were not allowed to do that, were going to pass that along to the public too? It’s kind of scary times for our industry.”

KCTV5 reached out to Governor Kelly’s office to see where she stands on the proposed bill, but were told the governor cannot comment before she either signs or vetoes it.