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House Bill 762 — Natural hair braiding

House Bill 762 — Natural hair braiding

Parrish Miller
March 11, 2022

Bill Description: House Bill 762 would define “natural hair braiding” and exempt those who offer this service from the requirement to obtain a cosmetology license. 

Rating: +1

Does it increase barriers to entry into the market? Examples include occupational licensure, the minimum wage, and restrictions on home businesses. Conversely, does it remove barriers to entry into the market?

House Bill 762 would amend Section 54-5802, Idaho Code, to add a definition of "natural hair braiding." This definition is detailed and includes a number of related cosmetology services that do not fall under the definition and thus will still require licensure.

House Bill 762 would also amend Section 54-5805, Idaho Code, to say, "Persons whose practice is limited to natural hair braiding as defined in section 54-5802(24), Idaho Code" are exempt from the "licensing, certification and registration provisions" of Idaho's Barber and Cosmetology Services Act.


Analyst Note: This bill was prompted by a federal lawsuit filed against the state by three women, who argue that its licensing requirement is unconstitutional. While exempting natural hair braiding from occupational licensing mandates is a positive change in Idaho code, the arguments for it apply to many other services that will still remain regulated. 

Occupational licensure represents a significant and frequently unreasonable barrier to entry into the market, and it should be significantly scaled back if not eliminated. It should not take the threat of more federal lawsuits to prompt more widespread efforts toward deregulation.

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