An unexplained surge in beauty-salon sanctions

The Pennsylvania Board of Cosmetology, which licenses hair and nail salons and aestheticians, issued 32 sanctions in July -- two to three times more than in a usual month.

State Department spokesman Ron Ruman said there was no state crackdown or sweep in inspections, so the reason for the surge is unclear.  

"Disciplinary actions ebb and flow," Ruman said. "Sometimes investigations are done, and some take longer than others."

In July, the cosmetology board revoked, suspended or fined 32 licensees statewide, including 5 in Montgomery County, 3 in Delaware County, 3 in Philadelphia, and 2 in Bucks County.  In May, the board disciplined only 13 licensees statewide; in January, only 7.

Ruman said disciplinary action can result from complaints, or from the inspection process when shops or aestheticians renew their licenses.

Among the local problems: A Feasterville salon was fined for using "razor scraper tools"; a Chester salon was fined for unsanitary conditions; an Ardmore salon was reprimanded for employing unlicensed aestheticians; a Lansdale man was fined for practicing on a lapsed license; and a Philadelphia salon was suspended after its logging fifth violation for using unlicensed workers.

The state has a database where you can check if your local salon is licensed: While you're there, you can also look up your realtor, accountant, nurse, architect, car salesman, and any other professional licensed by the state.  Happy hunting!