ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR)– People across Virginia are weighing in on a potential cut in learning hours for those working to get their cosmetology or barber license.

In July, the Virginia Board for Barbers and Cosmetology voted to reduce the number of hours required from 1,500 to 1,000.

Many Virginians have commented on the changes at the Virginia’s Regulatory Town Hall page; with concerns ranging from inadequately prepared students, safety, upset customers, and whether a Virginia license would still be valid in other states.

West Virginia University Professor of Economics Edward Timmons & director of The Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation spoke with “WFXR News at Noon” Tuesday, to address these concerns.

“Within the last 10 years 15 other states have made reductions to cosmetology license requirements, the most 2 recent being California and Texas, said Timmons.”

“There’s no evidence that 1,500 hours is the magic number to eliminate bad haircuts, bad haircuts are going to happen regardless. There’s no evidence in the states that already have 1,000 hours- that they get more bad haircuts.”

Prof. Edward Timmons, West Virginia University

Prof. Timmons says the move to cut hours could potentially help with a workforce shortage of skilled professionals. Consumer would also see a benefit in lower prices and more choices.

Timmons also says this change means students will be able to practice their trade sooner, cutting training time by up to 4 months. Right now, students spend on-average more than $16,000 and nearly a year to complete training.

The move to trim hours will likely mean a shift in curriculum for those looking to become cosmetologists or barbers. Timmons says students will like spend more time learning about infection control and chemical safety.

Timmons says when it comes to hair care, he believes word-of-mouth is more impactful for consumers than a state-issued license. He suggests asking friends, and looking online for reviews to find the best hairdresser or barber for you.

Comments are on the proposed cut in hours are being accepted through October 12th.

You can weigh-in here.