Madison, WI – Today, Assembly Bill 121, relating to the deregulation of natural hair braiding, passed through the Assembly Committee on Regulatory and Licensing Reform on a 6-2 vote. This bill specifies that a person does not need to obtain a barbering or cosmetology license in order to perform natural hair braiding. On AB 121’s passage, Representative Stubbs (D-77) issued the following statement:

“African-style hair braiding is a natural and ancient craft that provides many talented practitioners pathways to self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship. This legislation will allow for more individuals, especially female entrepreneurs, to practice braiding.”

“Under this legislation, people will no longer be burdened by strict licensing requirements. They can spend more time honing their craft instead of participating in programs that have little to do with braiding, as more cosmetology schools do not teach natural braiding styles or techniques. This will not only impact the economic lives of people of color, but also stimulate our state’s economy as a whole.”

“Wisconsin is not alone in the elimination of these regulatory requirements. Since 2015, twelve other states have scrapped these rules, and as of 2018, braiders may work without a license in the majority of states, including our neighbors in Minnesota and Iowa. These other states have analyzed natural hair braiding and came to the proper conclusion that cosmetology and barbering licenses are unnecessary. Wisconsin should follow suit, and AB 121 will allow our great state to get on the right track”

“I am proud to have partnered with Representative Sortwell (R- 2) Senator Johnson (D-9), and Senator Felzkowski (R-12) on this bipartisan piece of legislation. I look forward to seeing this bill move onto the Assembly floor, and eventually become law.”

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