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Last Thursday, the Texas House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass a bill that would deregulate natural hair braiding. Before the passing of HB2717, hair braiders had to comply with state laws that made it mandatory for them to attend barber or cosmetology schools. If they did not attend, they would be subject to arrests and/or fines.

Isis Brantley was one of the main people to challenge the law and posed a constitutional challenge in 2013, and a federal court struck down the law in January. Brantely, owner of the Institute of Ancestral Braiding and founder of the Naturally Isis Natural Hair Parade and Festival helped change that law in 2007, but Texas was unrelenting and added the law to the barber and cosmetology requirements.

“I fought for my economic liberty because I believe there is a lot of hope for young people who seek to earn an honest living,” said Brantley. “This vote by the Texas House means aspiring hair braiders from across the state are one step closer to being able to practice an ancestral art that dates back centuries, and do so without a government permission slip.”

Image Credit: The Dallas Morning News

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  • ShayRe

    I’m glad this was passed. It’s funny how the government is always trying to find a way to make money off of us even when it comes to things within our own culture. The hell the government worried about hair braiders they need to worry about issues that are a lot more important.

  • To threaten to jail or fine people who didn’t attend certain schools if they are braiding hair is draconian to put it lightly. Hair braiders have existed among humanity for thousands of years. Many people braid each other hair all of the time as a beautiful part of black culture. So, the Texas House of Representatives did the right thing.

  • G

    While I feel threatening people with jail is a a wee bit much (but very Texas), one of the reasons a braider was to seek a license, is the level of education the was required. People can have all types of scalp problems, hair problems . . . . just all sorts of issues, that an untrained or poorly trained braider may not have the experience to cope with.

    Good luck to them. May my fears be put to rest, but only time will tell.

  • Love.tweet.joi

    It doesn’t matter, everyone knows Texas braiders don’t show up to their appointments anyway.