On Monday, June 8, 2015, Governor Greg Abbott Signed House Bill 2717. This bill deregulates natural hair braiding from the Texas barbering and cosmetology professions. This new law took immediate effect upon signing the bill. This means that individuals and instructors who teach hair braiding or provide hair braiding services no longer require a TDLR (Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation) license.
In the original report, a federal judge in Texas ruled how the laws on how hair braiding stylists taught their students were unconstitutional. This forced many braiders to take unnecessary classes and exams in order to receive a state-mandated license to teach students how to braid hair. The required curriculum was geared toward barbers which meant that many braiding instructors would have to spend countless hours in barber school, pass the exams and spend thousands of dollars on tuition.
In most families, it is a custom to teach the child to braid when they are a very young age. It is passed down from generation to generation as a custom.
Braiding is traditionally a social art. Because of the time it takes to braid hair, people take time to socialize while braiding and having their hair done. Children watch and learn from the adults, start practicing on younger children or doll heads and eventually learn the traditional skill.
The art of braiding has also proven to generate great income and allow individuals to make an honest living in their community. Now Texas hair braiders can freely braid hair without being required to obtain a license for a skill that has been passed down from generation to generation.