Bills Are Being Introduced in US States To Decriminalize Hair Braiding Without A License

While it is perfectly fine to braid hair as a business in half of the states in America, there are still others that require you to get a license.

The State of Tennessee, for example, has levied about $100,000 in fines against braiders for practicing a skill they might have required as a child or back home in their native Africa.

The state only has three cosmetology schools that would-be braiders can attend to get a license and according to a recent article, those schools charge between $1,500 to $5,000 for tuition.

Forbes interviewed Fatou Diouf, who owns a braiding Salon in Tennesse who has been fined $16,000 in recent years. Diouf went thru the school and said it was a complete waste of time.

Diouf is working with the Institute for Justice which reviewed meeting minutes and disciplinary actions for the Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners and learned that dozens of braiders in over 30 different natural hair shops and salons since 2009 were fined $100,00. The kicker, none of the violations were triggered by any health or sanitation violation.

The Institute is trying to push a bill that would not require a cosmetology license to braid hair.

As we know, hair braiding is  protective style that many women of African descent rely on to keep their hair healthy, help them grow their hair and maintain it.

I’ll be keeping an eye out for this bill and hope it passes. I blogged about Texas having a similar restriction and since then, that state has loosened up its reigns.

Two years ago, Nebraska repealed a law making it a violation to braid hair without a cosmetology license.

Hope Tennessee follows suit!

Jeneba Jalloh Ghatt can be heard nightly at 8pm on DCRadio/WHUR 96.3HD4 on "Coming to America with Wayna and Friends. She is an editor at, founder of the Digital Publiching Academy and where she teaches online creators how to navigate digital entrepreneurship and offers Do-It-For-You Blogging Service. She manages her lifestyle sites BellyitchBlog, Jenebaspeaks and and is the founder of 200 Black Women in Tech On Twitter. Her biz podcast 10 Minute Podcast is available on iTunes and to Follow her on Twitter at @Jenebaspeaks. Buy her templates over at her legal and business templates on Etsy shop!