The Benefits of Membership in the Professional Beauty Association

by Minnesota Jodi

When I was a young cosmetologist there was a group I could join called the National Cosmetology Association (NCA). Their goal was to bring education, provide public services, and give political clout to the beauty profession. The NCA has had various names and anagrams in the past and some mergers with other entities. A merger in 2010 with the American Beauty Association resulted in the NCA now known as the PBA or Professional Beauty Association.

The Beauty and Barber Supply Institute was formed in 1904 with 47 men as members.  In 1921, it changed to the National Hairdresser and Cosmetologist Association, which includes salon owners as members. In 1924, the NCA built a relationship with Capitol Hill to keep track of legislations that affect the beauty industry. They are one of the reasons cosmetology has been able to stay a licensed entity. In 1951, they removed a 20% tax on cosmetics used by professionals. In 1955, they founded a first disaster relief fund for victims of flooding in the north eastern states by raising $6,000.

In 1989, they founded the Look Good Feel Better program in partnership with the American Cancer Society to teach people how to style wigs and do their makeup. In 2004, NCA started the Cut it Out campaign to help with domestic violence. In 2005, the American Beauty Association, Salon Association, and the Beauty, Barber and Supply Institute formed the Professional Beauty Association PBA.

One of the perks to being a member of PBA is free or discounted education. Usually every year the NCA would come up with a collection of three women’s hair cuts, three men’s haircuts, and three color techniques for the year. They would teach these at a convention in Chicago. When I lived in Minnesota, educators from Minneapolis would go to this Chicago show, come back and teach educators such as me, and we would then go out and teach people in smaller cities such as Duluth and out lying areas. We’d book a convention room at a hotel and three or four of us would find models. As the secretary/treasurer of the Duluth chapter, I would call all the salons in town and invite them to come to the class we set up to teach them the new collection. This way education came to the masses instead of the masses always having to travel to education.

The PBA /NCA was always an optional thing to join with a yearly fee. It was there to help with how government affects this profession, to move the profession forward with education and to give back to the community with charity work.

Minnesota Jodi hails from Duluth Minnesota. She’s been an Arizonan for six years all in the White Mountains. She owns North Star Salon LLC.