A new bill in New York requires hairstylists to be trained in all hair textures

Bill S6528A could make way for more hair texture inclusion in New York’s hair industry and beyond.

Democratic New York Senator Jamaal Bailey understands firsthand how challenging it is to find a hair stylist trained in his hair texture. 

He told Allure magazine he often runs into scenarios where he’s not in his neighborhood but in need of a quick tape-up or shape-up — and left debating who around him might be qualified.

“The struggle is real,” he said. 

This is partly why, in April, he introduced Bill S6528A, a new law in New York state that will require all hair stylists to be trained in all textures.  

“It’s not only common sense; [it’s] the right thing to do,” Sen. Bailey told Allure when speaking about the new law. He added, “It’s personal.” 

Natural hair, theGrio.com
Bill S6528A is a new law in New York state that will require all hair stylists to be trained in all textures. (Photo credit: Adobe Stock)

The bill, which passed the New York Assembly by a 56-2 vote and was officially signed into law on Nov. 17 by Governor Kathy Hochul, “would require cosmetologists and natural hair stylists to, pursuant to regulations promulgated by the secretary of state, complete certain training, as well as include questions on license examinations, regarding the provision of services to individuals with all hair types — including, but not limited to, various curl and wave patterns, hair strand thicknesses, and volumes of hair — as a condition of licensure,” per the law’s official language.  

In action, the bill increases inclusion in cosmetology schools. Students seeking to learn how to work with textured hair won’t necessarily have to pay for extra or specialized classes because they will be included in more curriculums. The new law also adds steam to the CROWN Act’s efforts and could prove as a potential model for other states to replicate. 

Recommended Stories

It is Sen. Bailey’s hope that at the very least, the new law will lead to those with textured hair — particularly Black and brown people — to feel more comfortable when seeking out professional haircare services. 

“When we talk about mental health and how we feel, I think that we should understand that hair care and personal care are a part of that overall feeling of wellness,” he said. 

However, as Sen. Bailey explained to Allure, the bill won’t be a cure-all. 

“There’s no one state law or any law that [can] solve societal ills,” he said. “But when people that are not necessarily of your culture take the time out to learn something, I think it is looked upon favorably. [However,] if you feel more comfortable with your Black stylist, you should continue to go see a Black stylist. If you feel comfortable going to someone else, by all means.”

Never miss a beat: Get our daily stories straight to your inbox with theGrio’s newsletter.