You can't fight city hall, but the Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists is another matter, or so Caryl Barday discovered when she tried to set up an in-office haircutting service in Denver. Her problem was that Colorado, like most states, prohibited the cutting of hair outside of licensed and inspected establishments, although it did allow for haircuts in residences. Barday's plan was to offer haircuts in customers' offices. The state nixed it, however, on grounds that offices weren't residences, no matter how much time her customers spent there.

So Barday launched a campaign to win a variance from the Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists. She got letters from bank directors, company presidents, U.S. Senate staff members, and doctors, who all swore they wanted haircuts at work. She hired a lawyer to draft an amendment to the rules. She worked with the health department to ensure that her company's procedures and portable equipment would meet state sanitary standards. And she lobbied the board relentlessly.

It worked. Now, anyone can apply for a license for office haircutting in Colorado -- which means that Barday's new company, Corporate Cuts Unlimited Inc., may soon face some hair-raising competition. She shrugs off the threat. "There's a lot of hair to be cut."