Rhode Island House passes bill to deregulate hair braiding

By: The Associated Press

Email: news@abc6.com

Twitter: @ABC6

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – The Rhode Island House of Representatives has passed legislation that would deregulate the business of African-style braiding.

The House voted unanimously to pass the bill Tuesday. It now moves to the state Senate.

It would exempt natural hair braiders from the costly licensing requirements for hairdressers and barbers.

Braiders say their practice is a cultural tradition and art form and the training and chemical safety rules for cosmetologists aren’t relevant to what they do.

They’re backed by a bipartisan group that included the bill’s sponsor, Democratic state Rep. Anastasia Williams, of Providence, and conservative and libertarian organizations seeking to cut business regulations.

The national law group Institute for Justice has been fighting for years to deregulate braiding around the country.

Beauty schools have opposed the efforts nationally.

© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2017