Lawsuit challenges Louisiana’s training mandate for hair braiding

Few cosmetology schools offer the course; and the state doesn’t appear to offer the required exam

Lawsuit challenges Louisiana’s training mandate for hair braiding
Salamata “Sally” Sylla, originally from Senegal, operates a salon in Kent, Wash., where the single mother of three exclusively practices African hair braiding. [Source: Institute for Justice] (Source: Photo by Daniel Berman)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A lawsuit alleges that Louisiana imposes onerous and unconstitutional permit requirements on people who braid hair for a living.

The petition was filed Thursday in Baton Rouge by three practitioners of natural hair braiding techniques practiced widely in African-American communities.

The lawsuit claims Louisiana’s requirement for 500 hours of training is difficult to comply with.

That’s because few cosmetology schools offer the course and the state doesn’t appear to offer the required exam.

Louisiana’s cosmetology board is the defendant in the state court lawsuit filed by the Institute for Justice.

Louisiana hair braiders Ashley N’Dakpri and Lynn Schofield announce with the Institute for Justice their lawsuit against Louisiana’s speciality braiding license.

Posted by Institute for Justice on Thursday, June 20, 2019

The institute, a Virginia-based organization, has challenged hair braiding requirements in other states, including Mississippi.

In the past, the organization also has pursued challenges of Louisiana licensing requirements for florists and requirements for practitioners of cosmetic eyebrow threading.

Messages seeking board comment weren’t returned Friday.

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