Hair braiding bill advances through Missouri House

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – It could soon be easier for people to start hair braiding businesses in Missouri under a new bill.

The Missouri House on Thursday approved lifting restrictions on hair braiders with a 137-10 vote. It now moves to the Senate.

Under the current law, hair braiders must obtain a cosmetology license to operate, which can cost thousands of dollars and hours of training. The new proposal would require hair braiders to register with the State Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners, pay a small fee and take a self-test about sanitation.

Proponents say the new bill will encourage new businesses and lift burdensome regulations. Opponents say the bill doesn’t do enough to ensure hygiene in braiding shops and is unfair to cosmetologists.