Raise your hand if you knew someone growing up who was an expert braider, with no formal training or license. In black communities, it’s not unlikely that your cousin, friend, grandmother, etc. have learned and nurtured the skill of braiding at home without setting foot in cosmetology school.

Unlicensed braiding, so to speak, has become somewhat pervasive. On trips, people often come back with cornrows and beads courtesy of a native woman who provides the service to tourists. And one walk down 125th Street in Harlem renders several cries from braiders who aren’t necessarily licensed but are trying to turn a profit from their trade.

Does this mean people without cosmetology licenses should be allowed to braid professionally? The minds behind the Natural Hair Act believe so.

The legislation will relieve licensing requirements for hair braiders, who don’t hold licenses that require tuition dollars and hours in class to obtain.

Via TheRoot.com:

A group of Portland-area lawmakers say they’ll sponsor the Natural Hair Act in Oregon’s next legislative session, theAssociated Press reports.

[According to the Oregon Statesman Journal], Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer says right now the state is criminalizing hair braiders or forcing them to go to Washington. The Oregonian reports (one of them is Amber Starks who started a hair-braiding business in Vancouver after she discovered she needed a cosmetology license to do the work in Oregon. That could mean spending up to 1,700 hours in a beauty school with tuition of more than $10,000.

The need for a cosmetology license seems a bit excessive for a largely home-based practice like braiding.

What do you think, Clutchettes? Should professional hair braiders be required to get a cosmetology license?

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  • Yup yup.

  • African Mami

    Naomi Campbell’s beauty camp AND hairline, needs to heed to this article.

  • EbonyLolita

    I’m from NY & just got my license as a Natural Hair Stylist. It was a 300hr course at a school in Baldwin, LI!! I’m licensed by NYS to do Locs/Braids/Twists/Weaves, Wash&Sets. Basically I can everything except Relax hair,Perms & Color. The course cost me $2,700.
    But I work a regular 9-5 & was able to pay it weekly until I graduated! It’s a sacrifice financially but he main focus of the course was Sanitation, Diseases of the Scalp, Alopecia, Customer Service & the like. I’ m official & will charge accordingly! I know in NY folks better get it together before they start shutting down your shops b/c I knew with the re-birth of natural hair, which I also have, the “Gobment” was going to make sure they got their paws on the $$$ Africans & Blacks are making by embracing themselves!!