African Hair Braiding No Longer a Crime in Iowa Thanks to Two Black Women Who Fought Back

2 Posted by - February 6, 2019 - LATEST POSTS

Braiders in Iowa no longer need to get a cosmetology license to plait customers’ hair. Thanks to two Black women who brought a lawsuit against the state with a non-profit public interest law firm, stylists who practice unlicensed braiding will not face jail time. Aicheria Bell and Achan Agit filed and won a civil suit against the midwestern state with the Institute for Justice.

A law enacted July 1 made braiders exempt from Iowa’s cosmetology licensing laws. Before then, anyone who braided hair without taking 2,100 hours of courses at a cosmetics school – which can cost at least $20,000 – to obtain a license could be subjected to a misdemeanor charge. The citation was punishable by up to one year in prison. Now, braiders will simply need to register with the state.

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Source: article via atlantablackstar.com

32 Comments

  • Helen Agent February 6, 2019 - 5:41 pm Reply

    That’s crazy that you could be jailed for braiding hair. I wonder who was paid for coming up with that law. Thanks, you learn something new everyday. WOW!

    • Rikki February 7, 2019 - 12:07 pm Reply

      There’s a reason most states board of Cosmetology require a license to perform any kind of services on a paying patron, mostly sanitation. Would you rather have your hair done by someone that went to school and is a licensed professional, or someone that kinda knows what they’re doing, and may or may not practice proper disinfection standards? I was at one of these braiding places, waiting to have my hair braided, saw the braider drop her comb on the dirty floor, rather than getting a new one, she picked it up and put it in the patron’s hair, needless to say I said I was going to get a soda, but I just left and didn’t come back.

  • GDash Fresh February 7, 2019 - 1:05 pm Reply

    Someone was paid for coming up with that. They scream public safety, but some lawmaker is getting a kick back from some special interest group that will no doubt gain something in return. It’s the capitalist way, always.

    • Tami February 8, 2019 - 9:46 am Reply

      No one needs a license to braid hair. It’s completely absurd, and just plain greedy! Why would anyone need to go to school for something they already know how to do in the first damn place? SMDH!!!

    • John Crow March 15, 2019 - 10:34 am Reply

      I am from Jamaica; and we have been braiding hair for a long time. Hair braiding is a skill taught to young girls by their family members. I have had combs dropped in dirt; and the same comb was brushed off and use to braid my hair. Forty something years later, I am fine. I don’t know if you are black; and I doubt you are but you need to do some traveling to better understand people. This over sanitation you people do in America is actually killing you. No wonder every last one of you are on some kind of medication.

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  • Cheryl Phillips February 8, 2019 - 9:47 am Reply

    Our and other people have been braiding for centuries…not to mention the upkeep of our own children’s hair….needing to pay thousands of dollars to braid hair??????

  • Cody Collins February 8, 2019 - 11:04 am Reply

    Rikki I’m a 56 yr old African American man. And growing up braiding hair was something that went on in the African American community and no one beaten a license to do so as a kid I will sit on the front porch and a local girls would take turns braiding the boy’s hair. We Have big afro’s back then, And the neighborhood girls would practice on our hair . All African corn row designs you see today on women started in neighborhoods like the one I lived in. It is part of our culture and only some evil white person wants to try to take another thing away from African Americans in America. No one was concern with sanitation everybody knew to wash her hands and us boys knew to wash I hair and a lot of times the young ladies did it for free. If they were to go by today’s standard every young African American Girl in America will be filthy rich if they charged it to braid hair. My mom wore praise to work one day and almost got fired that was back in the day. So leave our African American women and their braid alone thank you.

  • Sandruel White February 8, 2019 - 11:59 am Reply

    Will the young children and teenagers be required to get a license too? That a shame! It’s just another tactic to get monies for a skill that be around for hundreds of years and more, shameful 🙁 Prisons, just another way to imprison African Americans/Blacks, Slave mentality of the prison systems. 2/8/2019 Friday

  • Chinue X February 8, 2019 - 12:39 pm Reply

    Sounds like more of the same! Racism at it’s finest!

  • Robert Marshall February 8, 2019 - 2:05 pm Reply

    I agree that licensing in order to braid hair may be a bit much; overkill even after demonstrating competence with the actual skill. I do think that a certain level of certification should be required as far as handling situations involving proper handling of potential health conditions and sanitation practices of any products of instruments used in the practice of braiding hair.

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    • John Crow March 15, 2019 - 10:30 am Reply

      You must be white.

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  • John Crow March 15, 2019 - 10:30 am Reply

    You must be white.

  • Asabi Rich March 16, 2019 - 5:40 pm Reply

    Glad the braiders prevailed! Re sanitation: Bring your own comb. I’ve seen hopital workers/technicians drop things on the floor for a patient’s use, pick it up, and still use it! So much for licensing.
    Unfortunately, not all the protestors are wypipo. I heard an African American cultural advocate/ performance artist/ dresses in traditional attire no less, speak out for licensing simply because she had a beautician’s license and RESENTED her African people being able to have hair shops, which she considered to be competition. Her response was completely motivated by greed (even though hair shops were not her primary income source.) I wouldn’t have believed it but for the fact I was present when she said it. Greed is a sad thing.
    Plenty of young girls braid, so for the germophobe, employ a teen to do your hair and use your own implements. Simple.

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