(Memphis) The Association of African Hair Braiders of Memphis is suing the state of Tennessee saying their licensing law is preventing them from working.
“What the licensing requirement says is that you have to obtain 300 hours in natural hair licensing. We are fighting for the state of Tennessee to issue a hair braiding certificate and to lower the hours of requirement,” said attorney Linda Nettles Harris.
The group argues that they don’t use any chemicals or wash hair.
They also say classes in Tennessee can’t teach them anything they don’t already know about braiding.
“Why should they pay $2,000 to $3,000 for training they don’t need,” said Harris.
“Back home really we don’t have a lot of beauty salons like we have here. They learn it from 7-8 to being a woman,” said Gora Sow, who owns African Braid Action on Winchester.
Harris said the state has recently cracked down on African hair braiders.
Many of them are not licensed because they can’t afford the schooling.
“Some of them are recently here from their country. They can’t afford to take off and then need to work,” said Harris.
The state says the law is in place to ensure the health and safety of public.