A Win for Hair Braiding in Utah

Last year, former state representative Holly Richardson introduced a bill designed to allow people who do hair braiding in Utah to legally practice their art without a cosmetology license. Cosmetology licenses take at least two years of education and can cost around $15,000. Ms. Richardson stated that some ethnic communities consider the art of hair braiding to be traditional, and as long as the hair braider doesn’t use chemicals or other substances, she should be allowed to get paid for braiding natural hair.

Photo: Steven Depolo

Cosmetologists lobbied against the bill and it did not pass. Jestina Clayton of Centerville, sued the Utah Department of Professional Licensing over a year ago, claiming that her business of hair braiding should not require a cosmetology license. Ms. Clayton had her day in court and won.

A U.S. District Court judge agreed with her, stating that her business of African hair braiding does not require a Utah cosmetology/barbering license since the threats to public health and safety (of her business) are minimal.

Clayton, who earns less than $5000 a year braiding hair, is said to be thrilled with the court’s decision. It allows men and women to practice the art of natural hair braiding—something they don’t earn a fortune doing—and make a little extra income.

Just in case you’ve thought that the average person can’t win in court, hopefully this case will give you second thoughts. It’s great to see that people who help a specific segment of the Utah population can work their honest craft without getting fined or arrested.

Having your day in court is for people in both civil and criminal matters. If you are facing any type of criminal charges or investigations, don’t wait to call a Utah criminal defense attorney. You may be surprised at what an experienced attorney can accomplish on your behalf. Give yourself a break and contact a Utah criminal defense attorney today.

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