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Archive for Wednesday, January 19, 1994

BARBER WANTS TO CUT BRUSH BAN

January 19, 1994

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— Miss getting the hair brushed off your neck after a trim?

Barbers ought to be allowed to return to the use of neck dusters on their customers, says Mike Amyx, a Lawrence barber.

"It's just been part of the tools of the barber for a long time," Amyx said today.

Amyx, a former Lawrence mayor who chairs the Kansas Board of Barbering, told the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee Tuesday the board wants to take the clippers to a ban on neck dusters. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment imposed the ban in August because the brushes might spread lice.

Amyx recommended passing a resolution that came before the committee Tuesday.

The panel endorsed and sent to the full Senate a resolution asking the state health department to modify some of its administrative regulations to allow neck dusters, shaving mugs and lather brushes in barber shops across Kansas. The committee's resolution also called for allowing disabled customers to bring trained animals inside barber shops.

Amyx said this morning that the barbering board voted in November to support a return to neck dusters, but hadn't discussed the other items. Replacing the brush requires barbers to use something like a vacuum cleaner or a hair blower, he said.

Amyx said shaving mugs and lather brushes have been retired since 1966.

"There are hot lather machines that have been in place," he said.

Rocky Vacek, who administers the state barbering board, said most barbers don't consider neck dusters a major issue. The resolution was put together by the Legislature's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and Regulations, he said.

"The bottom line is it's a very trivial matter. It's a trivial exercise in democracy," Vacek said.

Andrew Pelletier, acting state epidemiologist for the bureau of disease control, told the committee that KDHE is opposed to the proposal. He said neck brushes might spread lice, and the proposal was too minor to justify amending existing regulations.

Some senators said they liked neck dusters. But Sen. Audrey Langworthy, R-Prairie Village, joked that the Legislature was becoming too ``nit-picky.''

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