Tucson cosmetology student under investigation for giving free haircuts

Published: Feb. 10, 2017 at 1:41 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 11:13 AM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A local cosmetology student is being investigating for giving free haircuts to homeless in the community.

Juan Carlos Montes de Oca has given dozens of free haircuts to the homeless at the Santa Rita Park over the past few months.

"Out of the kindness of my heart. Out of the memory of my mom, because she lost her hair," Juan Carlos  Montes de Oca said.

Montes de Oca thought he was doing a good deed for Tucson by offering the haircuts, a service many homeless hadn't received in a long time.

"About seven months was the longest one, another lady was about two years without a basic trim."

He too has been homeless in the past.

When his Regency Beauty school closed its doors last September, he felt compelled to offer his services for free. But now, the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology is investigating a complaint against him for practicing without a license.

(Official complaint from the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology. Source: Juan Carlos Montes de Oca)

Tucson News Now spoke over the phone to Donna Aune, the board's executive director, who declined to comment because it is an active investigation.

But she said they stand by the words written in the state statute that says in part "A person shall not perform or attempt to perform cosmetology without a license or practice in any place other than in a licensed salon."

Montes de Oca said he wasn't aware of this regulation and is now worried that the haircuts he offered for free could now cost him his future in cosmetology.

"They can suspend – even before I even try to get a license, they can say no. That would be very very unfortunate," Montes de Oca said.

Aune said they also have very detailed statute on sanitation and health safety.

She said working outside a licensed salon and using an unlicensed person, is a "real risk."

For more information on current Arizona law regarding this, CLICK HERE.

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