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Hair-braiding bill heads to Tennessee governor’s desk

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A proposal to loosen state regulations surrounding African-style hair braiding is headed to the Tennessee governor’s desk for his signature.

House lawmakers advanced the bill on Monday, which would allow hair braiders to attend 16 hours of health and hygiene training. Hair braiders would also have to register with the state and post a notice declaring they are not licensed by the board of cosmetology and barber examiners.

Currently, Tennessee requires hair braiders to complete at least 300 hours of natural hair styling at a cosmetology school.

Opponents argued the deregulation would place the public at risk because some techniques require boiling hot water to set the braid. Supporters countered that practice would not be allowed.

Gov. Bill Lee has not publicly stated whether he supports the bill.

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