Bill decreasing hair braiding regulations heads to governor’s desk

By Annika Merrilees
Columbia Missourian

JEFFERSON CITY — A bill decreasing regulations on hair braiding was voted through the Missouri House this month, and it will now move to the governor’s desk.

State Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, said he has been working on House Bill 1500 for four years.

“It’s gotten a little bit better at every step,” Dogan said of the bill, which passed 137-11.

The bill rolls back regulations for hair braiders, who would no longer need to obtain cosmetology licenses. They would instead register with the Missouri State Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners.

In Missouri, 1,500 hours of hands-on training currently are required to gain a license to braid hair. Under the new requirements, hair braiders would have to complete a 4-6 hour instructional video.

Most hair braiders must attend a cosmetology school to get that amount of training, but according to previous Missourian reporting, no state cosmetology schools offer that volume of instruction on hair braiding.

“The underlying issue of individuals being prevented from practicing something that they’ve crafted,” said Rep. Courtney Allen Curtis, D-Ferguson, is a “good reason for (Dogan) to bring this bill.”

Rep. Kevin Corlew, R-Kansas City, said: “This bill enables small business and entrepreneurs to do what they love to do, to do something that they’re good at, and make a living out of it.”