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Institute for Justice Executive Director Lee McGrath represented Lillian Anderson (in purple and orange) and her African hair braiding service in south Minneapolis. The Board of Barber and Cosmetologist Examiners agreed to amend its rules to free hair braiders from a requirement to complete 1,550 hours of cosmetology training that can cost up to $14,500 in tuition. (File photo: Bill Klotz)
Institute for Justice Executive Director Lee McGrath represented Lillian Anderson (in purple and orange) and her African hair braiding service in south Minneapolis. The Board of Barber and Cosmetologist Examiners agreed to amend its rules to free hair braiders from a requirement to complete 1,550 hours of cosmetology training that can cost up to $14,500 in tuition. (File photo: Bill Klotz)

Bar Buzz: Braiders unwound from licensing rules

A 14-year battle by the Institute for Justice to end licensing requirements for natural hair braiders ended when Gov. Tim Walz signed the omnibus budget bill last month. Under SF 10, braiders are now completely exempt from all occupational and facility licensing requirements. With the governor’s signature, Minnesota joins 26 other states that have ended licensing for hair braiders, including Iowa, South Dakota, and, as of April, North Dakota.

“The government has no business licensing something as safe and common as braiding hair,” said Institute for Justice Legislative Counsel Meagan Forbes, who testified in favor of the bill.

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