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Hair-braiding bill passes House, heads to Senate

FATIMA HUSSEIN

FATIMA.HUSSEIN@INDYSTAR.COM

Stylists who specialize in braiding hair would no longer have to attend beauty school under a bill approved by the Indiana House on Monday.

House Bill 1243, sponsored by Rep. Tim Wesco, R-Osceola, passed Monday on an 82-11 vote. It now heads to Indiana's Senate for consideration.

The measure effectively removes natural hair braiding from the cosmetologist licensing requirement. Currently, braiders who offer theservice are required to obtain schooling in cosmetology in order to obtain a license.

Indiana has one of the strictest hair-braiding regulations in the country, according to the Libertarian law firm Institute for Justice, requiring braiders to complete 1,500 hours of practice before receiving a license.

The measure is supported by several state agencies that monitor hair salons. The Indiana Professional Licensing Agency told IndyStar that the state has neveractually seen a complaint from a consumer regarding unlicensed hair braiders.

HB 1243 is opposed by licensed cosmetologists who think people who offer professional haircare services should receive formal training.

Already, 20 states have deregulated the practice, and bills are pending in Missouri, New Hampshire and New Jersey.

Call IndyStar reporter Fatima Hussein at (317) 444-6209. Follow her on Twitter: @fatimathefatima.

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