American Board of Certified Haircolorists         Newsletter 

January 2012     

In This Issue
Early Bird Discount for 2012 Energizing Summit
2012 ABCH Exam Dates
Dr. Said
Tom Dispenza
Comparison of Results
Hair Necklaces
Eliminate State Board of Cosmetology?
Lowlights from the Editor
Early Bird Discount for 2012 Energizing Summit

Register to attend the 2012 Energizing Summit June 10-11 at the LAX Marriott Hotel between Feb. 1 and Feb. 29 to receive a 20%  Early Bird discount!
General Summit Reg $300 ($240 with Early Bird) or 
ABCH member $250 ($200 with Early Bird)


LAX Marroitt Hotel room rates are lower than ever!
Only $112 per night, double occupancy. Attend with a friend and save!

Announcing 2012 ABCH Exam Dates 


      ====> Chicago  on March 4

                       Denver  on April 15  

                          Los Angeles  on June 24

                             Dallas  on July 15

                                 Boston  on August 19

                                   Seattle  on September 9   

                                      Washington DC  on October 7

                                          Atlanta  on November 11 


               8 examinations + the Energizing Summit makes for a full year.   
Be a part of it!

     Register online     or   take the practice exam


The Science Behind a Perfect Haircolor 
Dr. Hayel Said

Who best to learn what makes a perfect haircolor than from someone with a doctorate in molecular chemistry? Dr. Hayal Said is the person who can separate fact from fiction. Dr. Said holds several patents and authored scientific articles relating to human physiology and the molecular structure of hair. When he explains the science behind the chair, he does not speak over your head to impress you with his knowledge but rather directly to you as a professional haircolorist. His down to earth confidence will inspire to raise your hand and ask that question.


I received an email from a Highlights ABCH newsletter reader:

"I'd like to learn more on the actual chemistry of haircolor... to understand what is really happening, and not the just the theory we are taught (in school).... I'm not trying to be a chemist, but I want to know how haircolor really works. " ~ David V.


Both you and David V. are strongly encouraged to attend The Science Behind a Perfect Haircolor at the Energizing Summit, where Dr. Said has the answers you seek.

Forget the Hype! Let's Get Real

Tom Dispenza 

Hype (definition from Urban Dictionary): A fad. A clever marketing strategy in which a product advertized is exaggerated as the  thing everyone must have.

Nope, not happening! Forget about it! 

No worries about exaggerations in this class because Tom Dispenza tells you what is really going on at the color bar. He explains what is most important when coloring hair--using better ingredients and appropriate formulation for the desired effect.

This skilled educator explains in a straightforward manner how to eliminate typical haircolor problems. He explains why many typical formulas guarantee colors will fade. Learn how to re-compute proportions and avoid dilution of your haircolor formulas.

Tom is the President of Worldwide Haircolorists Association, President of Chromastics, Inc. and a retired Worldwide Senior Manager at Clairol. He is another educator available at the Energizing Summit who is more than happy to answer your scientific questions about haircolor and shares your passion for our industry.

There are several sessions of his class, Forget the Hype! Let's Get Real, but sign up early because he is that good. Listen and learn in his class--you will get the real deal.

 Results From Pureology Challenge
The swatches from the Pureology Challenge will be posted at the 2012 Energizing Summit June 10-11. Color copies of the results are available for $10 a set through the ABCH office. (310) 547-0814


This performance comparison was conducted under controlled conditions. All swatches used and shampoos tested were handled identically. ABCH is not a scientific testing laboratory, so these results are not official under scientific method criteria. 






 Comparison of Results From Pureology Challenge


pH Comparison: over 1/2 of shampoos tested have pH between 4.1 - 4.8


Price Comparison: top 5 highest priced shampoos- 3 Worse, 1 Similar, and 1 Better


Comparison of Sulfates: 

  • 7 shampoos without sulfates - 2 Better, 3 Similar, 2 Worse
  • 8 shampoos with sulfates performed Better (3 are OTC)  

  The final conclusion of the Pureology Challenge as drawn by the American Board of Certified Haircolorists is that the presence of sulfates in a shampoo does not appreciably affect the degree of haircolor fade-age. 



Kerry Howley, a 23-year old art school student from London's Middlesex University, has created a collection of interlaced necklaces out of human hair, inspired by damask wallpaper patterns. This collection is a material exploration of how people can feel seemingly opposing emotional responses simultaneously.

Attraction/Aversion is Kerry's award winning graduate collection, winning the Museum of Domestic Architecture's Arthur Silver Award for graduate innovation and excellence. 



The necklaces are made of human hair, a material we are familiar with and take pride in. However, once off of the body it becomes an innate source of aversion. 

Through the familiar form of a necklace, and using patterns and symmetry that are instinctively pleasing, she wanted to make human hair less repulsive. Kerry has created a delicate balance between the viewer/wearer's feelings of aversion and attraction.   

"I wanted to see if I could make

 discarded hair attractive again."  

Indiana Attempts to Eliminate Cosmetology License - Pro vs. Con


Pro Arguments by Andre Nizetich, President of ABCH

Does the thought of cosmetology losing its professional status by the elimination of the license sends chills up and down your spine? Hold on folks, don't worry! There are a lot of ways to lose your professional status other than the elimination of a license.

Think about most of the other industrialized countries that do not have licenses and no harm has come to them as a result of not being licensed. As a matter of fact, the cosmetologists are held in higher esteem than are their counterparts in the US. As it stands now, beauty schools have to teach their students the criteria to pass the licensing examination. Their future funding is based on their ability to have their students pass their arbitrary examination, which has little to do with real life in the salon. Furthermore, beauty schools may put as many cosmetologists into the workforce as possible, without any requirement for schools to support job placement. 

The Indiana Regulated Occupational Evaluation Committee (ROEC) had it right when they said the cosmetology profession should be self regulating. "We all have friends who have their hair done, so all we need do is ask someone for a recommendation". In fact, salons are reliant on repeat business. Without that dynamic, salons cannot stay in business. I would suggest there would be no harm coming to the salons if the license is eliminated. Those who are thriving would continue to thrive, those who are struggling would continue to struggle or go out of business. Consumers would draw their own conclusions as to what salons they would frequent. 

ROEC states,"..a voluntary organization to be formed, based on a small fee from each professional.  Membership in the voluntary organization could be based on prescribed qualifications that would provide a basis for designation as a preferred provider. Professionals who choose to practice without the preferred provider designation would do so at their own risk in the marketplace." 

Salons would have something to say about how their future employees are to be trained while in school. Currently, schools do not listen to the needs of licensed cosmetologists and salon owners. If we suggest a change of curriculum, they respond that curricula is mandated by the state board. To those who say, "If there is no license then anyone can do hair", my response is "Anyone can do hair now and they are." In California, the Cosmetology Board licenses 35,000 annually, and no jobs are being created. It's naive to think these people are not doing someone's hair.   According to the ROEC, "The cosmetology license does not prevent practitioners from incompetence. As a matter of fact, most of the complaints received by State Board come from people reporting unlicensed activity".  

I have trained many apprentices through the years. Something happens to the apprentice at the end of their two year apprenticeship when they become licensed. They often cop an attitude like now I am as good him (me) since I have the same license as he does. Once a person earns their license, not all but many, feel they have nothing else to learn. I, myself, had the same attitude when graduating and becoming licensed. So before you rant about it, stop and think about what it would be like with just an apprenticeship program. The ONLY reason to go to beauty school is to become a professional cosmetologist. Sadly, that is no longer the case. ~ Andre Nizetich


Con Arguments by, Mary Petillo, ABCH Editor and Educator  

My home state of Oregon has considered adding continuing education requirements forrenewal of cosmetology licenses. Quite a different perspective than that of the congressional representative from Indiana, who recently sponsored a bill to eliminate the State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering. 

The bill originated as a recommendation in a report to the Regulated Occupations Evaluation Committee (ROEC), which states: "... risks including burns, abrasions, allergic reactions, hair loss, and infections. While the risks are real, the ROEC Board scored the degree of risk relatively low in comparison to risks that might be seen in other professions such as nurses or doctors.... If a consumer receives bad service, the consumer can choose a different cosmetologist or barber next time, without any significant risk of irreversible harm. " 

Really? Oh, well...Salon X with unlicensed haircolorists just inflicted second degree burns from over-bleaching your scalp but hey...that probably is not irreversible harm. Just pain and suffering, not to mention medical expenses. The ROEC states: "The absence of a licensing program for the Cosmetology and Barber Board would not leave consumers without any recourse if harm were to occur. Complaints could still be filed in civil court. Additionally, consumer complaints can always be filed with the Office of Attorney General and reviewed under consumer protection statutes." So now you can add legal expenses, all from that "low risk service" you received from an unlicensed hairstylist.

Basically, this all comes down to state level financial budgeting. Benefit-Cost Determination is their primary concern in this issue. The ROEC states, "...licensing adds barriers to entry into a profession... (which) lead to higher prices for services to the consumer) ... This requires us to look at whether the benefits of establishing a barrier for service in a profession outweigh the costs... In this case, the most obvious benefit is to the barber or cosmetology professional that already meets the standards set by statute. Renewals require no continuing education or basic competency testing. Those seeking to enter the profession must complete the educational requirements and pass a test."

It gets worse when the ROEC report takes a low blow to our professionalism as an industry, and calls us selfish, lazy and careless. Read on, "...Although there is value to professionals in keeping others out of the market, there is no clear benefit to the consumer. Errors in service provision may be more related to motivation and care than to technical incompetence." 

A licensed hairstylist is not licensed to do quality work. They are licensed to protect you from harm. A bad haircut is the LEAST of your worries in an unregulated industry. As Tabitha Coffey put it on her Facebook page, ""What they are actually saying in the bill is that there isn't that much risk to the services we provide, and we really don't need any governing body to make sure we get trained adequately before we do that job, and I'm here to tell you that is the most f***ing stupid thing that I have ever heard."

I agree. ~ Mary Petillo, ABCH

  • The Professional Beauty Association, a national organization of salons, spas, distributors and manufacturers opposed to the legislation, says the bill will kill cosmetology schools, put local product distributors out of business, jeopardize the livelihood of Indiana's barbers/cosmetologists and threaten the health and safety of consumers. 
  • The legislation also would deregulate security guards, private investigators, dietitians and hearing-aid dealers.
  • There are 2 license types that the report recommends to remain unchanged in Indiana: manicurist and esthetician. Go figure?!? 
Lowlights from the Editor

Energizing Summit Registration opens February 1-
join us in Los Angeles, California in June! 
An amazing weekend of education for the around the cost of a pair of nice shears. How many shears do you own? Plus, shopping and the nightlife of So. Cal! 
ABCH suggests attending at least every three years to update your skills, knowledge, and to GET ENERGIZED!
Throughout the next several months, we will increase the frequency of the newsletters to introduce the upcoming 2012 Summit educators. This newsletter focused on two educators offering lectures. Next time we will spotlight educators offering hands-on workshops. Watch your mailboxes for it!

Write to me...I want to share your ideas and dreams!        USE subject line: ABCH    

Certifiably yours, Mary 

Mary Petillo, ABCH