Utah hairdresser sues the state because she is required to have a license. Jestina Clayton has been braiding hair since she was 5 in Sierra Leone. Now living in Utah, she braids hair as a business to supplement the family income while her husband is in school.
Having discovered her business is illegal without a license, she is suing the state of Utah for interfering with her right to work. Her style of African braiding involves no heat or chemicals, and the 2000 hours of cosmetology work required for a license do not cover hair braiding.
The ever-proliferating professional licenses to work in specified professions are suffocating small business in America. Not the licenses per se, but the educational requirements and cost of that education to receive those licenses. On one hand, it means that the public is protected from incompetent hairdressers. On the other hand, it means that competent people find it that much harder to find work and are shut out of the marketplace. It is a catch-22 of the finest degree. You need money, so you want to work, but you can’t work without money for an education.
I don’t want incompetent hairdressers, plumbers, or contractors, just to name a few professions that require licenses, any more than the next person, but perhaps we can find a middle ground here. How about a test that covers all the essentials of the profession and anyone who can pass it gets a license? It’s up to the person how they learn what’s on the test. Sounds like a good idea to me. Oh, wait, we’re cutting cosmetology schools and technical colleges out of some easy money. Well, I guess they better just figure out how to reach those people now they aren’t required to be there.