All Articles Tagged "cosmetology"
A federal judge has ruled in favor of Jestina Clayton, who sued the state of Utah over its requirement that Clayton get a cosmetology license to braid hair, a side business that Clayton set up to help support her family. U.S District Judge David Sam ruled that Utah’s requirement was ”unconstitutional and invalid.” According to the judge, licensing is meant to protect public health, but the state never established the public health and safety concerns that hair braiding raised.
Clayton came to the U.S. from Sierra Leone, has three small children, and started braiding hair to bring in extra income as her husband finishes school. She says she learned the skill when she was five years old. She filed her lawsuit last year after the state said it would be illegal for her to continue.
There is no uniformity in the laws governing the need for a license to braid hair. Utah is one of six states that requires a cosmetology license while those braiding hair in California and Arizona don’t need a license at all. In other states, like Florida, some training is required, but not the full cosmetology coursework.
“Progressives are joining what had been a strictly libertarian cause out of concern that excessive licensing requirements disproportionately hurt poorer Americans and newly arrived immigrants,” writes The Oregonian. In Oregon, hair braiders are required to clock in as many as 1,700 hours in cosmetology school, which can cost up to $20,000. The article makes the point that much that’s taught in cosmetology school doesn’t even apply to hair braiding because there are no chemicals involved in the process. Oregon now has legislation on the table, the “Natural Hair Act,” which will come up in the 2013 session. It would change the requirements for hair braiding, bringing the oversight in line with the nature of the business.
(That article in The Oregonian includes the interesting story of Amber Starks, who is making a business out of teaching people, black and white, how to care for natural hair.)
“The Utah case is particularly interesting because Utah obviously doesn’t have a long tradition of African hair braiding as a local industry,” says Slate. That’s a big part of the issue. A lack of knowledge about hair braiding — how it’s done and what’s required — is likely what prompted the overly-strict regulations in the first place. It’s one more example of how diversity in government — at all levels — benefits the governed.
by R. Asmerom
Should you need a license to braid hair? The state of Utah thinks so but the Utah Barber, Cosmetologist/Barber, Esthetician, Electrologist, and Nail Technician Licensing Board will have to soon argue its rationale in court as hairbraider Jestina Clayton has initiated a lawsuit to challenge the rules.
Currently, a hair braider must get a license, like all other cosmetologists, by taking 2,000 hours of classes. Everyone knows that hair braiding does not involve chemicals or excessive heat so is there a good reason why hair braiders should also be regulated? Tim Keller, executive director of IJ-Arizona, told the Moral Liberal that licensing requirements are not completely directed by the interests of consumers. “By forcing hairbraiders to get an expensive license, cosmetology schools are guaranteed tuition-paying students and licensed cosmetologists are protected from competition, forcing consumers to pay more,” he said.
According to BusinessWeek, California, Arizona and eight other states exempt braiders from cosmetology laws. In 2005, Mississippi overturned a requirement similar to that of Utah’s and now allow professional braiders to take a self-guided test and pay a $25 fee.
Clayton, a native of Sierra Leone, hopes that the archaic laws will be repealed as she believes they are born out of ignorance for the process of hairbraiding and infringe on her rights as an entrepreneur.
(Associated Press) — Oumou Wague has been braiding hair in her Chicago shop for more than a decade, carrying on a tradition passed down for generations in her native Senegal. To braiders, her talent for weaving women’s hair into elaborate styles isn’t just a livelihood, it’s an art form.
But in the eyes of state regulators, it’s also illegal.
Illinois requires hair braiders to get a cosmetology degree — which can take 1,500 hours and cost $15,000 — and then apply for a license, just like people who give haircuts, manicures and facials. Proponents say the rules are needed to protect consumers if they develop problems such as hair loss or have service complaints.