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Ky. Senate Approvals Bill to Exempt Natural Hair Braiders from Regulations

LRC Public Information

Natural hair braiders in Kentucky would be exempt from cosmetology licensing under a bill given unanimous senate approval Friday.

Louisville Rep. Perry Clark told his colleagues that the practice represents 5,000 years of deep African cultural heritage. He says it’s an economic fairness issue.

“They really want to apply for a business license, pay the taxes, and really start making some money doing their hair braiding," Clark said. "It’s an economic freedom bill."

Clark says natural hair braiders sometimes spend thousands of dollars in licensing and training for something not related to their trade.

“This is an economic freedom issue for a few people," Clark said. "It’s not a big deal as a piece of legislation broad based, but it changes some people’s lives and will get them on the road to securing the American dream."

During a lighthearted moment on the floor, several balding senators jokingly first voted against the measure, but then soon cast their votes in favor of the bill.

The bill now heads to the House.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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