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by Howard Fischer

So how much state-recognized training does someone need to pluck eyebrows for a living?

None, according to attorney Tim Keller. And that is why he filed suit Wednesday on behalf of practitioners of what is known has threading, where someone uses cotton thread to remove unwanted hairs, to block the State Board of Cosmetology from trying to shut them down.

The board is fighting back. Donna Aune, the board’s executive director, said her agency is simply doing what the Legislature mandated.

“We have jurisdiction over eyebrow arching, tinting of eyebrows and eyelashes and removing unwanted hair by means other than electrology,’’ she said. And looping thread around hairs to yank them out, Aune said, fits that description.

Beyond that, she said, the board is required to protect consumers, doing routine inspections on licensed establishments to check out their sanitation and disinfection procedures.

Hanging in the balance is whether people who do nothing but threading are required to be licensed and regulated by the board. Keller said some state oversight might be appropriate.

“Our clients would not object to reasonable regulations that were actually related to advancing some sort of public health or safety issue,’’ he said. “For example, if there was a regulation that an individual has to use a new piece of thread for each client, which they already do, that would obviously advance some sort of health issue.’’

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