General Assembly votes to get government out of people’s hair

Dogan’s hair braiding bill passes out of legislature

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Hair braiders in Missouri will no longer be required to undergo 1,500 hours of training under legislation given final approval on Tuesday.

Rep. Shamed Dogan’s HB 1500, one of the first bills passed out of the House this session, came back to the lower chamber with some tweaks from the Senate. After a 137-11 vote by the House, the bill — which has been in the work for several years — needs Gov. Eric Greitens signature to become law.

Hair braiders would no longer need to obtain a cosmetology license, which requires 1,500 hours of training, under the legislation. Instead, those seeking a hair braider license would be required to pay a registration fee to the state of at most $20 and watch a 4-6 hour video about scalp diseases and related information.

Supporters said this will eliminate burdensome government barriers and regulations.

“This legislation is a great step forward that will increase economic opportunity and allow more women entrepreneurs to realize their full economic potential,” said Wendy Doyle Women’s Foundation President and CEO. “Hair braiding is a prime example of how occupational licensing requirements can be a barrier for women seeking to start their own businesses or pursue more flexible careers. Our research has shown that easing these unnecessary and onerous regulations will benefit women and strengthen the economy, and we thank state Rep. Shamed Dogan, Sen. Andrew Koenig and others for championing this much-needed reform.”

The original bill did not include any educational hours, simply requiring hair braiders to complete a self-test about scalp diseases and infection control. The lack of education requirement concerned some legislators.

However, Rep. Gail McCann Beatty is more comfortable with the legislation after the Senate tweaked the educational requirements to included a 4-6 hour video.

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