Hair braider Jestina Clayton battled Utah laws for her right to braid without a cosmetology license. (Photo: AP)
July 18, 2012: Beyonce Knowles steps out in a bright printed romper and long braids in a bun carrying daughter Blue Ivy Carter. Mandatory Credit: Zelig Shaul/ACE/INFphoto.com
Actress Jada Pinkett Smith arrives at the 2010 BET Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on June 27, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Actress/Singer Willow Smith arrives at the BET Awards ’11 held at the Shrine Auditorium on June 26, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Singer Willow Smith arrives at The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Beyonce Knowles of Destiny’s Child on MTV’s TRL in the MTV Times Square studios in New York City to talk about the upcoming TRL Tour which she will headline. 7/12/01. Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect.
Alicia Keys performs on stage at one-off UK date at the Carling Apollo Hammersmith on June 25, 2004 in London. (Getty Images)
TV personalities Kandi Burruss, Phaedra Parks, Nene Leakes, and Cynthia Bailey of the Real Housewives of Atlanta attends the Bravo Upfront 2012 at Center 548 on April 4, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
Christina Aguilera arrives at the ‘mtv ICON: Janet Jackson’ show taping at Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles, CA., March 10, 2001. (Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect)
- of 9
From Frugivore Magazine: Hot combs, hair styles, and chemical treatments aside, many hairstylists face an unforeseen battle when trying to get licensed for their craft — even if their craft is as simple as braiding hair.
RELATED: Hair braider wins lawsuit challenging Utah rules
Earning a cosmetology license requires 1,700 hours of training [costing] thousands of dollars, which may not even focus on African-style braiding. In states like Oregon, Wyoming, Colorado, and Illinois, braiders are required to get cosmetology licenses to braid hair, a time consuming and unnecessary feat when compared to some other states, such as New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Michigan — [all states that require one only] to get a specialty license for that very craft. Click here for a full list.
As a child, I couldn’t imagine my mother or any one family member whom I knew, having to be required to get a license to braid my hair. It almost seems relatively pointless, as doing hair in my house had become a regular past time. It also was a time for bonding between children and adults.
Amber Starks, a braider who began her own business north of the border in Vancouver, is fighting to change the law.
“They’re requiring people who want to do the most basic natural care for African-American women to learn all sorts of things that will never be relevant,” Starks said. “It’s like the entire system is designed to marginalize my community.”
Read the rest of this story on Frugivore Magazine.