Last night Bravo TV aired a special featuring Atlanta celebrity hair stylists Derek "J" Johnson and "Miss Lawrence" Washington dishing on their RHOA co-stars. As you know, Derek J is a friend of the blog who was kind enough to sponsor a Total Makeover giveaway for my readers. So it pains me to reveal the shocking information that was passed on to me by a reader who I thought was being messy.
The reader emailed me to inquire about Lawrence's source of income since, she said, he was not allowed to practice in Georgia without a license.
According to my reader who asked to remain anonymous, neither Derek J nor Lawrence are licensed to practice cosmetology in the state of Georgia. In fact, Lawrence's cosmetology license was suspended last year after he applied for a license reinstatement -- and the board leaned that he had been styling hair in Georgia for years on an expired license.
The board suspended Lawrence's license for 2 years in accordance with a consent agreement that Lawrence signed last year. That means he cannot style hair in Georgia until his suspension is lifted in 2013.
On the other hand, Derek J has never held a cosmetology license to practice in Georgia. Derek does have a valid license in another state, which is not valid here in Georgia.
You're probably wondering how hair stylists are able to style celebrities in Atlanta for so long without a license?
The simple answer is that the board has been hit with budget cuts and lay offs. The few remaining members of the cosmetology board meet twice a year to review actions taken against stylists or salons.
Stylists are required to be licensed in the state of Georgia to ensure that they meet the basic skill and safety requirements.
Out of the hundreds of complaints the cosmetology board receives about salons per year, only a handful are investigated. Ironically, Derek J's salon, the J Spot, was cited in 2011 for operating with unlicensed stylists.
According to my source who is familiar with the subject, there are "hundreds" of stylists operating in the state of Georgia without a license. "That's nothing new," said my source.