Texas Reduces Burdensome Regulations on Hair Braiders
This session, the Texas Senate passed HB 2717 by a 30 to 0 vote to exempt hair braiders from having to obtain a cosmetology license to operate a braiding business. Such a feat is very rare. In contrast to the number of new licensing requirements added by states every session, examples of acts to de-license an activity are hard to find. Occupational licensing is unfortunately far too widespread – with requirements in general ranging from exam fees, unnecessary training, and repetitive education – so this is a huge victory for those who desire to pursue this occupation as a means to climb the economic ladder. Previously, Texas law required extensive training and facility requirements for licensed barbers, cosmetologists and braiders — even though the hair braiders did not use chemical products, tools, sinks or barber chairs. To many hair braiders, the only tools they use is their hands. Chuck DeVore, Vice President of Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, points out that the current Texas statute requiring 1500 hours of training is the same hour-amount needed to fly a commercial airliner. HB 2717 repeals sections of the Texas Occupations code relating to the issuance of hair braiding specialty certificates. The bill goes further than simply abolishing the license requirement, and actually requires that the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation immediately issue a refund of fees to any person that currently holds a barber or cosmetology hair braiding specialty certificate, hair braiding instructor license, or hair braiding specialty shop license.
The bill now awaits Governor Abbott’s signature. With Texas being one of the best states to do business, there are still areas in which the state unnecessarily regulates certain practices or entities. These laws can have a negative impact on entrepreneurship in the state, particularly for the Hispanic community, as a recent study by The LIBRE institute shows. While there are some valid reasons for sensible regulations, too many occupational licenses have become unnecessary and burdensome for individuals simply trying to make a living. Numerous other studies show Numerous studies show that occupation licensing laws disproportionately impact low-income earners and Hispanics, who might not have enough to clear that first barrier to enter the job market. HB 2717 cuts the red tape, allows hair braiders in Texas to earn an income, and pursue the American dream.