Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1956 No. 243 -
Attorney General Don Eastvold


 1. A special school for the teaching of hair styling only is not authorized nor can it be licensed under the laws of the state of Washington.

 2. If such a school is opened without a license, the proper procedure is for the department of licenses to refer the matter to the prosecuting attorney of the county in which the school is located.

 3. The director of licenses has jurisdiction over any individual practicing beauty culture as an operator or instructing in hair dressing regardless of whether or not such individual is licensed in another state.

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                                                                    April 9, 1956

 Honorable Della Urquhart
Director of Licenses
Transportation Building
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 55-57 No. 243

 Dear Mrs. Urquhart:

             By letter previously acknowledged, you have submitted for official opinion a list of four questions involving the interpretation of the beauty culture laws of the state of Washington.  The questions are as follows:

            "1. Can a school license be granted to teach specialized subjects, such as hair styling only and not the entire course as outlined by law?

              [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "2. If so, would the school be governed by the Rules and Regulations of this Department which govern Beauty Schools in general?

             "3. Should such a school be opened without a license what action, if any, should be taken by the Department.

             "4. What jurisdiction do we have over individuals licensed in other states giving special instruction to licensed members of the profession working in beauty shops in this state?"

             1. The answer to question No. 1 is no.

             2. The answer to question No. 1 makes it unnecessary to answer this question.

             3. The facts should be referred to the prosecuting attorney of the county wherein the school is situated.

             4. You have jurisdiction over any individual either practicing beauty culture as an operator or instructing in hair dressing and beauty culture, regardless of whether or not such individual is licensed in another state.


             1. RCW 18.18.070 provides:

             "No person shall be licensed to conduct a school unless it appears to the director: (1) That the school will maintain the course of instruction herein provided; (2) that instruction in the school at all times is in charge of and under the supervision of a manager operator; (3) that the school will at all times maintain one instructor for  [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] each ten students or fraction thereof; and (4) that at no time does a school have less than two instructors."

             RCW 18.18.190 provides that "the course of instruction in every school shall comprise at least the following" and there follows a list of thirteen types of treatment including one described as hair fashioning.  It is our opinion that any school instructing in any of the methods or treatments classified as beauty culture or hair dressing would have to teach them all in order to be licensed as a school.  There is no provision in our law for any special or post-graduate [[postgraduate]]type of school.            3. RCW 18.18.030 provides

             "It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to engage in the practice of hairdressing and beauty culture for compensation, or hold himself or itself out as qualified to engage in, or solicit the practice of hairdressing and beauty culture, or to own, manage, conduct,or give instruction in a hairdressing and beauty culture shop or school, unless licensed so to do as provided in this chapter."  (Emphasis supplied.)

             RCW 18.18.010 (1955 Supp.) defines the practice of hairdressing as follows:

            "(1) 'Practice of hairdressing' or 'hairdressing' means the arranging, dressing, curling, waving, permanent waving, cleansing, bleaching or coloring of the hair, or doing similar work thereon by use of the hands or any method of mechanical application or appliances or the practice of haircutting on female persons;"

             Subparagraph (10) defines shop as:

              [[Orig. Op. Page 4]]

            "(10) A 'shop' is any building or structure, or any part thereof, other than a school, wherein the practice of hairdressing and beauty culture is conducted;"

             and a school is defined as:

             "(11) A 'school' is an institution of learning devoted exclusively to the instruction and training of students in the practice of hairdressing and beauty culture;"

             An instructor operator is defined as

             "(12) An 'instructor operator' is a person who gives instruction in the practice of hairdressing and beauty culture in a school or who has the qualifications of a manager operator or an owner operator and who has passed an instructor examination: . . ."

            RCW 18.18.260 provides

             "No person shall engage in the practice of hairdressing, and beauty culture in any place other than a hairdressing and beauty culture shop or school, except in case of his own family or in case of a person whose physical condition prevents his presence at a shop or school."  (Emphasis supplied.)

             RCW 18.18.270 prescribes violations and penalties and provides that persons violating the provisions of the act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

             From our discussion with Dorothy Anderson, secretary of the state board of examiners for beauty culture, as well as from the questions submitted, it appears that the particular matter with which the department  [[Orig. Op. Page 5]] is concerned is as to whether a sort of postgraduate or special school may be opened in this state for the purpose of instructing in hair styling, licensed operators only.  It is obvious, of course, that such a school could not be licensed since our statute prescribes that a school shall teach a total of thirteen subjects.

             As to whether or not such a school could be opened without a license, it is our opinion that this would constitute a violation of our act.  Any person teaching advanced hair styling would be practicing one of the beauty culture arts or instructing therein, regardless of the fact that instruction might be given to licensed beauty operators only.  These operators would still bestudents within the meaning of the law since they would be receiving instruction.  Since such a school as proposed could not be licensed and since it could not be operated without a license, it is our conclusion that no such school can be legally established until the laws of the state are amended to make provision therefor.

             We enclosed herewith former opinions of this office as follows:  No. 2398 [[to Charles R. Maybury, Department of Licenses]], issued April 11, 1929; No. 2887 [[to Robert M. Burgunder, Prosecuting Attorney, King County]], issued October 17, 1932, and an opinion issued August 11, 1947 [[to Harry C. Huse, Department of Licenses]].  These opinions in part, we believe, support the views expressed herein.

             We trust that they will be beneficial.

 Very truly yours,
Attorney General 

Assistant Attorney General