9.22.2006

License to Braid

Stop! You need a license to braid hair in Ohio.

You heard me...you need a license to professionally braid hair in the Buckeye state. Since 2000 the state has offered a 450 hour course on how to braid hair at a cost of 3750-dollars. And the state mounties will come after you, if one of your customer decides to file a complaint.

To my knowledge, there is only one school in the whole state that teaches braiding.

The course, I’m told, teaches how not to braid so tight, how to recognize bacteria, and how to sanitize your instruments among other things. I guess that means hand washing, because braiders use their fingers.

Only 26 people and 11 salons statewide are licensed. Everybody else is illegal according to state records and that’s most people practicing the art.

The license is officially called a “natural hair styling license.”

Folks that I know who get their hair braided, tell me they look for African women, usually from Senegal, or Somalia who have emigrated to America.

A spokesperson for the NAACP says it’s not fair that the state makes people pay to continue working in a traditional industry that dates back to ancient times. The government is simply looking for another way to make money according to the civil rights group.

Eight other states require braiders to have specialized training and licensing. Nine other states require braiders to have a cosmetology license.

Just goes to show you that anything can be made political, especially if there is money to be made.
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