Americans for Prosperity – Missouri (AFP-MO) today released a statement in opposition to an opinion issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri upholding Missouri’s ban on unlicensed African Style Hair Braiding.
Several state governments, including Missouri’s, are demanding that hair braiders attend cosmetology training before they can accept payment for their skills, even though there are currently no cosmetology courses that teach this unique skill.
In Missouri, hair-braiders must complete over 1,500 hours of training which can cost thousands of dollars for the individual seeking a license. In comparison, to become a licensed Emergency Technician (EMT) in Missouri, individuals are required to complete only 100 hours of education.
AFP-MO state director, Jeremy Cady, states:
“This regulation stands in the way of allowing hardworking Missourians to provide for their families. If you practice African Style Hair Braiding, the burdensome requirements of time and money hampers your opportunity to succeed. The government completely disregards the fact that these conditions teach nothing of hair-braiding. That an EMT, whom we trust with our life, is required to have 100 hours of training while a hair-braider needs over 1,500 hours lends to the outlandishness of these arbitrary requirements.”
In Kentucky, Americans for Prosperity worked with closely with the state legislature in a bi-partisan effort to break down occupational licensing restrictions on hair braiding. In June, the Kentucky Governor signed a bill elimination licensing restrictions for those looking to offer African-style natural hair braiding for pay.
AFP Missouri encourages lawmakers to act quickly to exempt hair braiders from cosmetology licensure and to also consider reforms of the many barriers licensing places on Missourians seeking a job.