A Healthy Hair Braiding Law??

young woman with braids smiling on beach(BlackDoctor.org) — Frances Simmons is a professional hair braider who has been honing her craft since she was a kid living on the West Side, braiding hair on her front porch. She knows that her job not only requires nimble fingers, but knowledge about hair texture and tension, scalp health and even potential allergies to synthetic tresses.

For years, she has heard fellow hair braiders lament having to go to cosmetology school to legally ply their trade: Why did they need to learn about how chemicals interacted when their job was to create lovely corn rows and plaited hairstyles?

Why sit through 1,500 hours of training when the crux of what they needed to know they had learned while sitting at the knee of their mothers and grandmothers?

But that was the law.

“And if you (braided hair professionally and) didn’t have a cosmetology license, you were operating outside of the law,” Simmons said. “We just wanted to find a common-sense balance between getting the proper training and not having to spend so much time and money on what you didn’t need.”