Hair braiders fight back against regulations - KMOV.com

Hair braiders fight back against regulations

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Two St. Louis hair braiders are fighting back against Missouri's licensing requirements. (Credit: KMOV) Two St. Louis hair braiders are fighting back against Missouri's licensing requirements. (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Two St. Louis hair braiders are fighting back against Missouri's licensing requirements which they call unnecessary and costly.

In September, a judge upheld the regulations that require African-style hair braiders to undergo 1,500 hours of cosmetology training, but Tameka Stigers and Joba Niang, with the help of the Virginia-based Institute for Justice, plan to appeal. 

"There's no place for natural hair stylists in the cosmetology world. Why would you go to school for something you're not going to utilize in your profession? No other profession does that," said Stigers. 

Stigers has been braiding hair since she was a teenager. Now she owns Locs of Glory on Delmar. 

"To me [cosmetology school] is wasted money and wasted time. The time you're in cosmetology school you can't work, so that takes money away from your family," said Stigers. 

In the court ruling from September, it noted that the education and training for cosmetologists "is not directly relevant" to hair braiding, but still sided with the state. 

That's why the Institute for Justice is appealing. They're hopeful an appellate court will see it differently. They've been successful in overturning regulation in other states and in Illinois, where there is a specific license for African-style hair braiders. 

"We want the safety of our clients just like the next person but we don't want the senseless licenses that the state requires," said Stigers. 

The defendants in this case are the members of the Board of Cosmetology. News 4 reached out to the board for comment but a spokesperson said they would not comment on pending litigation. 

The case is expected to go back to court in January. 

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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