State shuts down hair salon; reopening planned

CENTRAL JP—State regulators yesterday shut down the Amp Hair Studio salon at 482 Centre St. for operating without a license.

Owner Aura Peguero told the Gazette that she applied for the license today and expects to be back in business in about two weeks. But there is no guarantee she will get the license, and state authorities will consider the shutdown in reviewing her application, said Jayda Leder-Luis, a spokesperson for the state Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

“I’m new and I didn’t know how things worked. I was misguided,” said Peguero, explaining that she is 24 and running her own business for the first time. She cited construction and confusion over paperwork as among her reasons for failing to get the license.

Peguero opened the salon in April 2012. She is properly licensed as a hairdresser by the state Board of Registration in Cosmetology, according to Leder-Luis, but her overall shop was not.

“It didn’t have a license to operate,” said Leder-Luis. She said the salon is considered “permanently” closed at this point and cannot do business unless it gets a license.

Another salon called D’Milagros Beauty Salon previously operated at 482 Centre, and Peguero said she was one of its employees. In a September 2012 decision that was only publicly announced on Jan. 8, the state revoked all hairdressing licenses of D’Milagros owner Pena E. Cesar, years after D’Milagros was cited for violations and moved out. It appears that state regulators were unaware that D’Milagros was gone and that Amp had taken over the space. The shutdown of Amp came after the Gazette inquired about its ownership and licensing status.

D’Milagros opened in 2009 and was cited by state inspectors in 2010 for using unsterilized tools and for failing to post an employee’s hairdressing license, according to the state Division of Professional Licensure (DPL). That employee was Peguero, according to DPL. D’Milagros moved to a South Street location and appears to have closed down later. DPL revoked Cesar’s licenses by default because he never responded to notices from the state, which apparently continued to be mailed to 482 Centre. The Gazette was unable to locate Cesar for comment.

Amp has no connection with D’Milagros aside from the fact that Peguero is a former D’Milagros employee, both Peguero and Leder-Luis said.

The state licenses hairdressers to make sure they are qualified and operate in safe and sanitary conditions, among other reasons. Customers can check the license status of barbershops and hair salons at the DPL website at

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