Suit challenges Louisiana training mandate for hair braiding

State News

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — (6/22/19) A lawsuit says Louisiana imposes onerous and unconstitutional permit requirements on people who braid hair for a living.

The suit was filed Thursday in Baton Rouge by three practitioners of natural hair braiding techniques practiced widely in African American communities. The suit says 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 even offer the required exam.

Louisiana’s cosmetology board is the defendant in the state court suit filed by the Institute for Justice. That organization has challenged hair braiding requirements in other states, including Mississippi. And it has pursued past 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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