Wesco’s bill to deregulate hair braiding advances out of committee

Posted by: Devan Strebing  | Tuesday, February 7, 2017

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 7, 2017) — State Rep. Tim Wesco’s (R-Osceola) bill to deregulate hair braiding was passed today by the House Committee of Employment, Labor and Pensions.

Under current law, people who hair braid for-hire must hold a cosmetology license.

“The Indiana Public Licensing Agency approached me to remove this regulation that they felt was unnecessary,” Wesco said. “I feel as though we should allow those who have this skill to be able to practice it without the added burden of going through a course of study that doesn’t actually train them on their chosen craft. This proposal would allow those people to be more open about offering this service and be able to advertise to build their customer base.”

Wesco said a number of other states have moved to deregulate hair braiding.

“One woman moved to Texas because she couldn’t legally practice hair braiding here in Indiana,” Wesco said. “There’s very little instruction here in Indiana — if you practice without a license, that’s a Class C Infraction with a $500 fine. She should be able to take her craft and use it to benefit her family and to lift themselves up. For us to not allow that and say you’ve got to jump through all of these unrelated hoops to get to that point, I just don’t think that’s right.”

This bill would only apply to natural hair braiding practices. Hair braiding that requires the use of chemicals, such as for hair relaxation or hair coloring, does require being licensed.

Wesco’s bill now moves to the House floor for further consideration. For more information on House Bill 1243, visit iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Tim Wesco (R-Osceola) represents House District 21, which

includes portions of Elkhart and St. Joseph counties. 

A high-resolution photo of Wesco can be downloaded by clicking here.