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Nail salon wants to trim state fines
Board cites business for three unlicensed workers
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Forsyth County News
The state Board of Cosmetology meets twice a month. For more information on the panel, go online at

The owners of a Forsyth County salon plan to appeal $2,300 in fines recently levied by the state Board of Cosmetology.

The fines stem from an August inspection of LaBelle Nails Salon, located at Castleberry and Bethelview roads, during which the business was cited for having three unlicensed pedicurists, among other infractions.

“Some of the items that they charged [us with], I don’t agree with,” said co-owner Hang Vo. “That’s why we tried to set up the hearing.”

Vo’s original hearing was slated for March 23. Due to confusion over the hearing notice, however, the board granted her request to reschedule.

With about 12,400 licensed cosmetology salons in the state, fines are not uncommon, though LaBelle’s penalties were steeper than most.

Between Jan. 27 and Feb. 27 of this year, the cosmetology board collected more than $50,300 in fines, including some from other Forsyth County salons. The fines ranged from $100 to $1,700 statewide.

Between Nov. 21 and Dec. 21, fine collections totaled more than $75,800.

The Office of the Inspector General is tasked with finding and reporting unlicensed and improper practices to the cosmetology board.

Created in 2007 by Secretary of State Karen Handel, the office pooled inspectors from various divisions. It currently has more than 40 cross-trained investigators.

Matt Carrothers, spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, said investigations can occur on a routine basis or as a result of a complaint.

“Ultimately, the findings of the inspection are presented to the Georgia Board of Cosmetology ... which makes the decision,” he said.

Inspection involves a checklist of nearly 30 rules and regulations, ranging from storing clean linens in a closed container to not keeping dirty dishes or stale food around the salon.

The process for establishments that seek a hearing can take months.

Vo, who co-owns the salon with Phuong Huynh, said they will not appeal the fines for the unlicensed employees, but will dispute other charges.

Among them were a $500 fine for nail care tools that were reportedly not cleaned and disinfected and $200 for towels and linens not stored in a closed container or cabinet.

Vo said the three unlicensed pedicurists are no longer with the salon. The fine for each was $500.

She said the employees had assured her they were working on getting their licenses.

“I kept asking [for a license], but I had not received [them],” she said.

State law says that employees must be licensed before they can work as a manicurist or pedicurist.

E-mail Jennifer Sami at