Minnesota is the latest state to drop braiding license requirements. Under a new bill signed last week, braiders are now completely exempt from all occupational and facility licensing requirements.
The move came after 14 year-long battle to end licensing for braiders in Minnesota. In 2005, the Institute for Justice sued the Minnesota Board of Barber and Cosmetologist Examiners, which at the time forced hair braiders to complete 1,550 hours of cosmetology training before they could work. The repealed 30-hour specialty license was created in 2007.
This brings the total to 27 states that have ended licensing for hair braiders, including Iowa, South Dakota, and, as of April, North Dakota.
While most states that fought to remove the restrictive red tape around braiding, excessive training requirements, Minnesota only required braiders to complete a 30-hour course and pay a $20 fee.
“This is great news for all entrepreneurs in Minnesota,” said Lillian Anderson, a Minneapolis-based braider who was the lead plaintiff in IJ’s lawsuit. “SF 10 will expand economic opportunity, especially for female entrepreneurs and people of color.”
Some licensed stylists and braiders, however, were against the bill as it also removed needle safety, infection control, sanitation, and first aid training. “This is scary as most Black women in braiding salons re-use weaving needles and do not use safety equipment in hair braiding salons and we are the highest rate of HIV, HCV and HPV contacting in Minnesota,” said hairstylist Denise Jarett. “Removing the education piece will only place Black women at even higher health risks.”
No word, yet, whether the state will implement any supplementary certifications for such training.