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Will Natural Hair Care & Braiding Licensing be Deregulated?

natural beauty-braids

Is this going to be a national trend? Will this create more professional (economical) opportunities across the board in the natural beauty market/profession? The practice of natural hair care has emerged into a multi-million dollar industry, especially, for African American/African hair stylists.

Should traditional standards/laws be modified because of this change/trend? The primary standard (bias) and definition of beauty/cosmetology was created by Westernized/White terms/definitions and placed limitations and enforced practices that were not suited or proper for all cultures. The traditional practice of cosmetology/beauty posed issues of damaging skin and hair for all and people that wanted to practice natural beauty methods for skin and hair care were shone/demonized for many years. Also, unable to obtain licensing or certification in such practices because there were no schools for it. In another article from the California “Institute for Justice,” titled, “Challenging Barriers To Economic Opportunity” the author Clint Bolick quoted an economist who expressed his view on this subject which states, “Walter Williams an economist, observes, these laws and regulations "discriminate against certain people," particularly "outsiders, latecomers and the resourceless," among whom members of minority groups disproportionately are represented.” This article describes cases where natural hair care and braiding practices conflicted with traditional cosmetology practices and present occupational licensing laws that monopolized this industry making it difficult for people of various cultures to practice hair care and lessons the opportunity for possible economic stability for natural hair care professionals who are African Americans. READ MORE from the CA Institute for Justice.

Many cultures have their own unique method of maintaining natural beauty and hair care-suited for their texture and value. This is good news for natural beauty professionals, especially natural hair care stylist who reside in VA. Previous requirements stated that in order for natural hair care stylists to operate a business or teach workshops, they had to complete 170 hours of training before seeking certification to meet the state’s licensing requirements. After brief research on teaching natural hair care and operating such- salon/spa in the state of VA, and submitting an inquiry to the VA/Maryland-Board for Barbers and Cosmetology Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, a VA state office representative replied: "Braiding (natural hair care) was deregulated by the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2012. No license from the Board is required to provide natural hair care services or to operate a natural hair care salon or school."

One possible dilemma with this deregulation is that the professional braider/natural hair care stylists may not be able to cleanse hair before styling and this raise sanitation issues which is taught in traditional cosmetology/beautician school classes. However, natural hair care workshops and schools in many states where natural hair care and braiding is regulated do to teach proper cleansing, sanitation, sterilization of implements and infectious control. This can be a catch 22 for those who provide natural hair care services but are not able to clean the patron’s hair and scalp. The client would have to wash their own hair and scalp prior to receiving hair care services and this take away the control/power from the professional natural hair care stylist/beautician of ensuring proper precautions to decrease spread of pathogens and diseases. Professionals examine their client’s scalp and hair, properly sterilize and/or disinfect their tools to protect themselves and clients.

Some states require braider-specific training courses only such as the South Carolina-which state that the “Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation requires you to successfully complete a six-hour, board-approved training course” before taking an exam and registering as a professional hair braider (”

Here is a list of natural beauty schools/training
Natural Hair Care and Braiding Workshop I & II
York College Continuing & Professional Education-Jamaica NY
Everette's Natural Hair & Beauty School-New York!braiding_academy/c1vw1
Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics-Natural beauty and skin care- Arizona
American Beauty School-Bronx-Cosmetology- Bronx New York
The School of Botanical & Medical Aesthetics- Denver Colorado

Here are three articles on the matter:
#1. Dept of Professional Occupational Regulation states, "The General Assembly changed that law to lessen the burden on hair braiders, by establishing the separate braiding-only license category..."
#2. Institute for Justice, “Challenging Barriers To Economic Opportunity.”
#3. Natural Beauty Examiner- Kenyada Jones. “Hair Braiding Becomes an Unregulated Profession”

You can read these articles and please leave any commentaries below in response to the articles and new law allowing/making it easier for stylist to practice natural hair care and braiding...and if you think other cities should follow suit

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