NEW YORK Bill Seeks to Create Laser Hair Removal License

Posted By Madilyn Moeller, Friday, January 27, 2023

Bill Name: Assembly Bill 2623 (A 2623)

Primary Sponsor: Assembly person Amy Paulin

Status: 1/26/2023 Referred to House Committee on Economic Development

AmSpa’s Take: It is clear that the current situation for laser hair removal (LHR) in New York cannot persist forever. However, no LHR bill in the last several years has gained enough support to move forward.

Outlook:  This bill is in the first steps of the process and, based on the sponsor, is less likely to pass. Because this has been a historically contentious issue, it is unknown if this bill will fare any better this year.

Analysis: Currently, New York does not regulate laser hair removal (LHR) either as a medical procedure or as an aesthetic procedure. This means that no license or training is needed for anyone to offer the service. This is unusual compared with the rest of the country, which typically treats it as either part of the practice of medicine or has a technician license to set a minimum training requirement.

Efforts to regulate LHR in New York have been a long and ongoing story. We previously discussed some of the issues in an article (see here). For the last several years, other bills have been introduced to regulate LHR but, so far, none have been passed. A 2623 continues this tradition; however, it remains to be seen if 2023 will be the year that New York regulates LHR.

A 2623 would create a license for a “Laser Hair Removal Technician” under the Appearance Enhancement Advisory Committee, as well as for “LHR facilities.” This is the same body that covers cosmetologists, nail specialists, aestheticians and similar practices. A 2623 would require the adoption of rules and standards for the licensure and practice of LHR technicians and for the LHR facilities where they practice. These rules must, at a minimum, contain the following: 

  1. State-approved training courses; 
  2. A registration fee for LHR establishments; 
  3. A minimum age requirement; 
  4. A minimum number of hours of training; 
  5. A minimum number of training procedures performed on volunteers; and 
  6. Continued certification by a nationally accredited organization. 

LHR facilities would need to maintain a minimum of $1 million in liability insurance in addition to the other adopted rules and standards.

Importantly, A 2623 gives the department the option to waive training and education requirements for current aestheticians who are already performing LHR. These current LHR-practicing aestheticians would still need to pass an approved competency exam to gain the new LHR technician license. This would obviously substantially reduce the costs for aestheticians to continue their services and comply with the new regulations. Unlike prior bills, A 2623 does not contain a requirement for physician supervision or oversight in the LHR process.

Most other states treat LHR, along with other laser and light-based procedures, as medical procedures that need to be performed under a physician’s delegation and supervision. A few states in recent years have begun to treat LHR as a separate professional license. In that sense, A 2623 would take New York from regulatory outlier to trend leader in a single step. If you would like additional information, to read the bill, or to contact the sponsors, you can find it through this link.