Rhode Island considers bill to deregulate hair braiding - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Rhode Island considers bill to deregulate hair braiding

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island lawmakers are considering a bill that would deregulate the business of African-style braiding.

The state House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on the bill Thursday, but instead delayed it until Tuesday.

It would exempt natural hair braiders from the costly licensing requirements for hairdressers and barbers.

Braiders say their practice is a cultural tradition and art form and the training and safety rules for cosmetologists aren't relevant to what they do.

They're backed by a bipartisan group that includes the bill's sponsor, Democratic state Rep. Anastasia Williams, of Providence, and conservative and libertarian organizations seeking to cut business regulations.

The national law group Institute for Justice has been fighting for years to deregulate braiding around the country.

Beauty schools have opposed the efforts.

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