Iowa Is the Most Recent State To Fight Hair Braiding Laws

Photo by Gustavo Di Mario
Hair braiders in Iowa win the right to work without Cosmetology License.  

Hair braiding is not a crime but hair braiders in several states have been feeling singled out for using their talents. The newest state to loosen some of the burdensome laws requiring hair braiders an expensive and time-consuming Cosmetology license is Iowa. Iowa’s new law, which took effect on July 1st, allows hair braiders to register with the state and take basic health and safety classes. This will replace the previous requirement of spending almost $22,000 and taking thousands of hours of classes for a Cosmetology license which does not even cover hair braiding. 


The Institute for Justice, (IJ) has been at the forefront and a part of the Braiding Freedom Initiative to fight these harsh requirements many states have and have been putting undue burden on hair braiders. This is a big win for the hair braider of Iowa who merely want to start businesses and earn a living for themselves. IJ attorney, Meagan Forbes shares her happiness with this new law, “This is a major victory for African-style hair braiders in Iowa. These reforms have now put the American dream within reach for braiders across the state.” 


This new law follows Nebraska and Kentucky’s removal of the burdensome Cosmetology licenses for hair braiders but there are still more than 20 states with those expensive requirements that impose harsh punishments if a hair braider is braiding without a Cosmetology license. This is a step in the right direction for hair braiders to live their best lives without unnecessary requirements that do not assist in their craft. 

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Filed under: Hair