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  • Writer's pictureKeyaira Boone

Jersey Takes Steps To Change Cultural Bias In Cosmetology

As anyone with $120 and 8 hours to kill can attest to getting your braided is generally more complicated and costly than it should be in the Garden State.

According to a story reported this week by The Root the costly and unreasonable restrictions levied on many New Jersey braiding salons could soon be lifted making the process easier and more affordable for customers thanks to the work of two New Jersey elected officials.

Assemblywoman Angela V. McKnight and Assemblywoman Shanique Speight have lent their time and influence to the cause of establishing an alternative regulatory body made up of six members more equipped to evaluate the practices of braiders that would operate under the purview of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety under the current New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling.

For years braiders in New Jersey have been forced to meet the same requirements as the state’s general cosmetologists even though braiding is a simple protective style that does not require the general knowledge of chemistry that more complicated processes like relaxers, and dyeing do. This policy has led to many braid shops passing the arguably unnecessary expenses they incur as a result of it’s enforcement on to their clients.

It has also prevented many capable and talented hairstylists from being able to fully participant in the industry.

Many stylists avoid entering the profession altogether because of the rising price of cosmetology schools while others literally risk their freedom by becoming “kitchen stylists” working under the table and exclusively advertising their services through word of mouth and social media.

If passed this legislation would have an immediate and profound impact on communities of color empowering hundreds of women to safely monetize a hairstyling practice that has been a staple in their culture for centuries.

Learn more about New Jersey’s Cosmetology and Hairstyling Act of 1984 here.

Learn more about Assemblywoman Angela V. Mcknight here.

Learn More about Assemblywoman Shanique Speight here.

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