New reporting claims that Mark Zuckerberg has aides blow-dry his armpits before important speaking events to reduce his profuse anxiety-related sweating. Unless the Facebook CEO has licensed cosmetologists on his communications team, he may be breaking the law. Yes, seriously.

According to the Goldwater Institute, all states except Virginia require, under law, that people professionally blow-drying hair have a cosmetology license. “Blow-drying someone’s hair without that license is a crime punishable by up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine,” write the authors. Last year, Arizona, Goldwater’s home state, repealed its blow-drying law.

If we assume that state laws do not specifically exclude armpit hair from their definition of hair and that the Facebook CEO does indeed have armpit hair, as well as that the reported story is true and that employees are paid, then blow-drying Zuckerberg’s armpits without a license would be a crime.

These aren’t unreasonable assumptions.

In California, state law does not appear to limit the definition of “hair” to the head. In fact, like many state cosmetology laws, it includes treatment of body hair. By the letter of the law, then, an employee blow-drying Zuckerberg’s armpits (if hairy) without a license is committing a crime punishable in California as a misdemeanor, which carries a fine of $1,000.

If this all sounds a little ridiculous to you, it is. Blow-drying hair ought not to be a crime, and more states should follow Arizona’s lead in repealing restrictive occupational licensing regulations.

Zuckerberg and his employees probably won’t be punished for this “crime,” nor should they be. Yet, until lawmakers take action, regular people simply trying to make a living by blow-drying and styling hair will continue to bear the brunt of these ridiculous regulations.

Image credit: Frederic Legrand – COMEO

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