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New Illinois hair braiding law takes effect in January

New Illinois hair braiding law takes effect in January

Getty/Ian Waldie

A new Illinois law that takes effect in January will lessen the amount of training required for hair braiders.

African hair braiding is seen as a cultural art. The practice came from Africa and spread to America, Latin America and the Caribbean. Illinois law requires that braiders have a full cosmetology license. But most do not.

Salon owners balked because they say they don’t deal with chemicals or other cosmetology methods.

A new law strikes a compromise. It requires 300 hours of training in sanitation methods to receive a hair braider’s license. Current hair braiders with experience would be able to get grandfathered in. Later they’d have to get yearly continuing education.

Conversely, a full cosmetology license requires 1,500 hours of training.

Supporters of the revised requirements say this will help hair braiding shops stay in business.

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