Should natural hair braiders be held to the same regulations as cosmetologists? Should they have to get the 1500 hours of training required to receive a state cosmetology license? Believe it or not, this is a legal disagreement going on now in the state of Arkansas. Christine McLean, represented by the Institute for Justice, vs. the state, to be exact.
McLean owns a shop in Little Rock but is not licensed cosmetologists; therefore, she is breaking the law by braiding hair for compensation according current regulations.
Because of this, McLean, Earl and others are are alleging that licensing requirements for natural hair braiders in the state are unconstitutional. The lawsuit defines “natural” braiding as “braiding, locking, twisting, weaving, cornrowing, or otherwise physically manipulating hair without the use of chemicals that alter the hair’s physical characteristics.”
The argument is that because braiding of the hair requires no chemical process, they should not be held to the same standards. They also argue that since state cosmetology curriculum doesn’t event include braiding, they definitely should not be required by the law to complete it.