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Lawmaker pushes for change to hair braiding law

Lawmaker pushes for change to hair braiding law

By Randall Jeppesen | Posted - Oct. 20, 2011 at 9:44 a.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Cosmetologists are pleading with the Utah Legislature to not deregulate hair braiding. But supporters of the move say the current law discriminates against people who just want to earn a living.

Utah currently requires people who professionally braid hair to have a cosmetology license.

Rep. Holly Richardson, R-Pleasant Grove, has introduced a bill saying if it's natural hair braiding without chemicals or glues, it should not need a license. She says this is important to several ethnic communities in which hair braiding is traditional.

But Tamu Smith, owner of Interactions Salon in Provo, argued a license is important to keep customers safe.

"It can be dangerous. It can lead to permanent hair loss if it is not done correctly," she said.

Others call it a turf battle, saying beauty schools want to protect the need for hairstylists to obtain a license to do business in Utah.

Lawmakers asked Richardson to narrow the scope of the bill before any vote will be taken.

E-mail: rjeppesen@ksl.com

Randall Jeppesen

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