Missouri backs off its defense of hair braiding licensure

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Attorney General’s Office is backing off its defense of soon-to-be-outdated state requirements that hair braiders be licensed as cosmetologists.

Attorney General Josh Hawley on Wednesday said the state is waiving its response in a lawsuit against the requirements, which is at the U.S. Supreme Court. He says the case will be irrelevant once a new Missouri law takes effect Aug. 28 that will end licensure requirements.

Professional hair braiders have long complained that expensive licensing doesn’t provide much training on hair braiding and is not relevant to them.

Missouri lawmakers in response tossed out the requirement for hair braiders. Hair braiders will instead be required to pay a state registration fee of at most $20 and watch a 4-6 hour video about scalp diseases and infection control.