Regulation Nation – The Ridiculous Hurdles a Single Mother Must Go Through to Braid Hair

Last week Opportunity Lives’ Carrie Sheffield wrote about the need for occupational licensing reform and the added economic benefit such reforms could produce. Right now roughly 29 percent of American workers have a job that requires a license, and often times the license can be difficult to obtain. In that vein, the Washington Examiner tells the story of one woman who has to jump through ridiculous hurdles in order to braid hair professionally.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Single mother Tameka Stigers figured that she could use her skill at braiding hair to support her family. She soon discovered it wasn’t that easy: Missouri required that she get a cosmetology license before she could do it professionally.

That required getting a degree from a cosmetology school, which would cost Stigers at least $5,000 in tuition and require 1,500 hours of classes. The schools don’t even teach hair braiding, she adds.

Alternately, she could be apprenticed under an accredited professional, but she would have to rack up 3,000 hours working there — a year and a half’s worth of 40-hour work weeks. By comparison, Missouri requires 23 days of training to be licensed as an emergency medical technician.

“An EMT comes to your home and maybe saves your life. … Why in the world do I need 1,500 hours [of training] to cut and style someone’s hair?” said Stigers, who is involved in an ongoing court challenge against the license requirements.

It’s not like Missouri is worried about how people’s hairdos look, Stigers added. “You can cut and style someone’s hair for free, no problem. It’s only [an issue] when you charge a fee.”

Read more at the Washington Examiner.