ACTS In Your Interest, State Legislatures and Boards

Ruth Cox

As Spa Owners and practitioners, we are involved every day in providing our technical expertise and excellent service to our customers. We conscientiously adhere to the regulations that help protect the health and safety of our clients. As the experts, we need to provide our state and local representatives the information they need to develop better regulatory policies and enforcement practices. You can use the web to find your State Representative and Senator. Make a point of meeting them this year, and e-mail or write them to advise them of your concerns about our industry.

Contact me at if you are interested in joining the Day Spa Associations (DSA) Legislative Committee. We are seeking members in each State to help represent the views of owners and practitioners.

Regulations for services offered at Day, Resort and Destination Spas are regulated by the States in which they reside. Typically several agencies oversee these services and license both individual practitioners and the business entities in which they practice. While your State may be different, services generally fall under the following categories, and in many states each have their own Regulatory Boards and Licensing Departments. They are as follows:

  • Cosmetology Boards regulate hair, nail, cosmetic and aesthetic services. This includes all hair cutting, coloring, wigs, braiding, hair extensions and other hair enhancements, hair removal (depilation including waxing), make up application and removal, manicures, pedicures, gel, acrylic and other nail enhancements, aesthetics/esthetics including facials and other non-medical skin care.
  • Barbering Boards regulate hair, including facial hair, shaving and other services and may or may not be regulated in conjunction with Cosmetology.
  • Massage Therapy may be regulated by its own Board but is often regulated by a Department of Health, Board of Nursing or similar Agency. Some states do not currently regulate massage therapy or have a licensing process. These states may regulate massage at the local level (county or city).
  • Other Services such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels, acupuncture, electrolysis, tooth whitening, laser treatments, mesotherapy, hydrotherapy and more may either be regulated by the State Medical Board or another agency or may also be unregulated in a given State.

Each State has over the course of the past 100 or more years, defined its standards and several methods by which practitioners, Spa Owners and consumers can monitor current regulations. The simplest of these is to join the agency listservs or email distributions. Find your State’s website or portal and sign up to receive the latest updates from each of these regulatory agencies. Make a commitment to contact your State Representative or State Senator to let him/her know, we in the industry care about our profession. Contact the DSA and join and become more active in your own future.

Ruth Cox


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