1 The Knotty Truth: Professional & Locked Blog

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Professional & Locked: Legislation and Natural Hair In Ohio

  • Did ya know? In 2016, Iowa, Nebraska and Kentucky deregulated hair braiding, freeing braiders from burdensome cosmetology laws?

So, this happened, just as states like Florida, George and Alabama shut down access, making it legal to discriminate against folks with locks in their hair, Ohio loosens beauty restrictions. From a 1500 hour Cosmetology license to a 450 hour Natural Hair Care License, to now a 75 hour Boutique Certification in braiding, threading or shampooing ** services can be offered within a salon setting that is board approved. This is HUGE! Some argue it's not fair, others feel that this opportunity will open up natural hair services, increasing entrepreneurial opportunities; others are limited due to shampoo restrictions.

What do I feel? All is fair in love and war. I reflect on the days I would pop up to antagonize the OH State Cosmetology Board challenging their restrictive laws. I saw them pass fees over fees over fees against their own customer base to the point where they ran many cosmetologists out of business. Now, they are in a tight space, finding it necessary to lay out a welcome mat to new customers and build up their base again by passing more lenient laws that are inclusive, not exclusive. 

It's a matter of pure economics. I say, if you have the interest, passion etc...go for the boutique credentials if you can! I would if it were 10 years ago and I were still fighting. But, I've been there and done that. Remain aware that signing up for a license or certification, requires operations within the rules and regulations of the state as a cosmetology servicer. Registering a health/beauty/cultural business as an LLC may allow a business owner to remain free of Cosmetology governing if the owner is not licensed beautician (check your state laws). Think about it, African Braiders boldly hang their shingles and own their own businesses because they do NOT go under the auspices of the Cosmetology Industry. Weigh the pros and the advantages of what  is best for your business and know your policies and laws. 

In the case of Florida, Florida has 'been' had a braider's license. For only 16 hours, Floridians can make a living 'braiding 'hair. In addition, the irony of a 'braiding' law is that locks fall under the umbrella of the braiding credential. However, it's like saying basketball is the same as football. They are both sports, but they are different sports, requiring difference skills. Not only are they different sports, but you have folks that have never played sports leading and coaching the team to a win. And, thus goes the ridiculousness of state cosmetology boards trying to set mandates, rules and regulations on a market they do not understand on so many levels. They call hair 'locks' 'braids (insert eyeroll). 

For now, this is progress. However, for me, 'Nah.' I'd rather stick to empowering and educating the masses with books, workshops and selected seminars. I will continue to minister to women in need of cultural empowerment as I see fit. But, I'm glad the next generation of natural hair queens will have an opportunity to be economically empowered and not disenfranchised to hide in the shadows like they did to my generation. The overall irony about Florida is the freedom to earn a living doing natural hair care, which contrasts with the recent US District Court 11 ruling agains dreadlocks. Can the governing laws ever get in sync with it's own constituents?!

Overall, I think the Boutique option in Ohio is progress. And the solution is to have conscious folks that are knowledgeable about the art of natural hair populate the boards that govern and make these laws. The laws are ridiculous and don't even address real education, real issue nor do the require educational facilities to empower folks to know the art of black hair care, know your policies, know your state.



Monday, April 17, 2017

Locked & Professional & On Hiatus: Shhhhh Research In Progress

I think of you all often and have plenty, plenty, plenty to write about! Just know there are plenty of posts in draft mode waiting for me to hit the send button! We have some more Locked and Professional beauties in the hopper, we have some updates on 'hair news' and we have some legislative tid bits to share. When we return in the fall we look forward to updating you. For now, just know that we are going into the belly of the decision - US District Court 11 - To get first hand insight on the impact of this ruling! 

I promise, it will be worth the wait! 
Until Next Time, Keep it Knotty!


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Professional & Locked: STOP Policing Our Hair

In January, a group of women in the Columbus, OH area came together to discuss the latest news regarding the policing of tightly coiled hair.