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Two years ago, Nebraska repealed a law making it a violation to braid hair without a cosmetology license.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