Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hair braiders sue three states over licensing laws

Libertarian-backed hair braiders sue three states over license requirements | Fashion | - Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian:

June 18, 2014 - "Hair braiders in three US states filed lawsuits this week calling cosmetology licensing regulations unconstitutional, in part because the licensing process does not require certificants to learn hair braiding techniques.

"With help from the libertarian Institute for Justice, plaintiffs in Washington, Missouri and Arkansas said the licensing process puts an unnecessary burden on braiders who would have to pay for and attend cosmetology or vocational school to obtain a license.

"'I think that it might reflect a lack of awareness of the nuances of black hairstyles by the people that are focused on establishing these type of regulations,' said Adia Harvey Wingfield, an associate professor at Georgia State University.

"Hair braiding is a natural technique that does not require chemicals or technical equipment and relies on specific, centuries-old processes that can take several hours to complete.

"But hair braiders in 24 states must still adhere to cosmetology regulations, even if they do not offer hair cutting, dying or other services that alter the structure of hair.

"After a similar lawsuit in 2005, Washington said it would not require hair braiders to obtain such licenses because braiding doesn’t include processes that alter hair structure in the way that haircuts and coloring services do. However, Salamata Sylla, the owner of a hair braiding salon and plaintiff in the new Washington suit, was told she could only continue braiding if she got a state license – which would require 1,600 hours of training and two examinations on services she does not offer, like beard-trimming."

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