Tennessee hairstylists and barbers who work with natural hair are trying to stop a state bill that might make their hard-earned licenses meaningless. If House Bill 1809 passes, hairdressers won’t need to follow any regulations to practice on natural hair. According to current stylists, the effects of the bill could prove damaging to anyone with unrelaxed strands.
As Local Memphis reports, Senator Mark Norris (who is white) is sponsoring the controversial bill. One factor of the proposed law is that anyone who practices on natural hair would not have to follow the state-sanctioned Cosmetology Board’s sanitation rules.
As Tamika Turner, owner of The Institute of Beauty (Tennessee’s first natural hair school), told the site, “I see people who are operating out of their home, or unlicensed, or uneducated . . .[that results] in all types of [hair] damage.” She added: “Even walking through middle schools, our little children’s hair is being damaged.”
One of Turner’s students, Porsche Armstead, chimed in, saying, “Without them letting us have a license, I that’s going to hinder the new stylists that are coming up in 2018. I feel like a license is important. You need the right terminology, the right procedures, there are a lot of hazardous items you need to know about in the hair industry.”
We will update this story with the results of this bill.