Local hair braiders fight to change state cosmetology law

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Natural hairstyles like braids, locs, and sisterlocks are what stylists like Tameka Stigers see every day.

That’s why she wants to make sure the playing field is fair for braiders. As they take their skills from their homes to the salon and Missouri law says cosmetology school is a must.

“Something has to be done; has to change. Things taught at cosmetology school like rolling hair, chemical relaxers, all those things, we don’t do that,” Stigers said.

Two years ago, Stigers and others joined forces with the Institute for Justice to file a lawsuit against the Missouri Board of Cosmetology. The suit claimed the schools didn’t offer braiding classes and were a waste of time and money.

The case was recently moved from a federal judge, with no decision to legislators.

“I want (this case) to go viral for all of the braiders, to help those who want to make an honest living can do so,” Stigers said.

Stigers wants other braiders to stand up and make their voices heard.

“We are fighters! And if other women want to stand up, please do so,” she said.