New Jersey Might Be the Next State to Make This Major Law Change for Hairstylists

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Unbeknownst to many, the hair care industry is inundated with quite a few outdated laws. Other than the loose regulation on formulation (recent news revealed that tons of hair products contain hazardous chemicals), hairstylists—particularly braiders—have been working around an archaic law simply to practice their trade. Fortunately, this law may not be around for long in New Jersey thanks to a new bill proposed by legislators.

The law—which is in effect in multiple states across the United States—currently states that hair braiders must attend a minimum of 50 days in cosmetology school, NJ Spotlight reports. However, many beauty schools do not offer classes on hair braiding, making their attendance entirely redundant.

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Additionally, attending cosmetology school isn’t as simple as a 50-day training session, it’s also extremely costly for attendees. “This is an important change, and the number-one reason is that the current cosmetology school does not teach people how to braid hair, but they currently must go to schools where they have to pay as much as $17,000 and spend roughly 1,200 hours for something that does not reflect what they will be professionally doing,” Angela McKnight, a legislator pushing for the latest bill, told Yahoo! Lifestyle.

The new bill, A3754, would exclude hair braiders from this cosmetology school requirement, saving them both time and money. However, this law isn’t supported by everyone, in fact, celebrity hairstylist Kendall Dorsey told Teen Vogue that the regulation “is there to protect us as the professionals,” adding that the “proper education or the appropriate license for hair braiding”—which is not included in cosmetology classes—should be a priority instead.

Ultimately, better education on hair braiding isn’t a bad idea. After all, it’s a stylists duty to help clients maintain healthy hair and scalps—especially because many women who frequently get their hair braided suffer from hair loss due to traction alopecia. However, if there’s one thing both sides of the argument can agree on, it’s that the current laws regarding hair braiders are not practical and are in serious need of an update.