Local Politics

Hair braiders are concerned about state law requiring licenses

Posted June 29, 2010

— Some hair braiders in the state are concerned about a new law that will require them to have licenses to operate.

“A lot of people are going to lose their jobs because a lot of businesses are going to be closed, like my business is going to be closed,” said Mariama Diakhate, owner of Miriam African Hair Braiding in Raleigh.

Diakhate, originally from Senegal, has been in business for nine years.

The state law, which goes into effect on Thursday, requires anyone who braids hair to have a license.

“It was generated by health concerns that some people had,” said Rep. Larry Womble, D-Forsyth.

Womble and Rep. Earline Parmon, D-Forsyth , sponsored the legislation. Both said they received complaints from customers in their district about unsanitary conditions at hair braiding shops and from clients who were injured.

Hair braiders are concerned about state law requiring licenses Hair braiders concerned over new law

“People often got lacerations on the scalp because the braiding was too tight for their hair,” Parmon said.

To get a license, employees must pass a cosmetology exam, which Diakhate said can be a problem because many hair braiders are from French-speaking countries in west Africa and don’t speak English.

“I will do whatever is necessary to make sure that these people have a fair chance,” Parmon said.

Salon owners are also questioning why their employees need to pass a cosmetology test when they do not use chemicals in their hair treatment.

The State Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners will enforce the new law. For the first year, they will only issue warnings. After that, those practicing without a license can be charged with a misdemeanor.


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  • mad_dash Jun 30, 2010

    It seems like common sense to me. But then again, some ppl need a reason to complain..

  • thefensk Jun 30, 2010

    They have a year to comply ... in that time they should be able to accomplish this. Since this is obviously a marketable skill, some of the braiders should be able to teach this skill to others while they are earning their licenses. The schools should step up and help them out.

  • Vietnam Vet Jun 29, 2010

    I see no difference in "Hair Braiders" than barbers or beauticians, nail salons, or any other personal service industry. All should be licensed in the same manner. If a license is required for one such business then they ALL should be licensed.

  • Alexia.1 Jun 29, 2010

    As with many license requirements, this one is utter nonsense. In what way, pray tell, could a person harm another through braiding hair? If there is one, perhaps I'll reconsider my position. Otherwise, I agree with others that this is nothing but another tax.

  • common_sense_plz Jun 29, 2010

    In my opinion this law is for money only. The state wants more so this is how they are going to get it. A person who braids hair does not work with chemicals that may harm clients, and this law in unfair to them. I would also venture to say that NC state board of cosmetic arts are behind this as well, and are the ones who started this. This is also going to mean that those who do decide to get their license, well what they charge for thier services will increase greatly, as cosmotologist, nail techs, etc. have to have continuing education which are costly as well.

  • delilahk2000 Jun 29, 2010


  • NoFreakinWay Jun 29, 2010

    why shouldn't you and everyone operating a business need a license to operate? if I go to get my bald head braided I want to know your legit!

  • koolady Jun 29, 2010

    This law has only one purpose.....to make sure the state rakes in some more tax money.

  • Jeff_W Jun 29, 2010

    Here's my question.... you walk into a shop and there are sanitary concerns (i.e. it is nasty inside), why don't you just leave? I go to a restaurant, and it is nasty, I don't order, I leave. What is is difficult about the concept?

  • Qwerty27807 Jun 29, 2010

    Since we make allowances for spanish-speaking people, why not french too?