May 1, 2017 09:44 AM

HB468 would keep state and local regulators our of natural braiders' hair

Emerson
Photo by Robin May

The House Commerce Committee will consider Rep. Julie Emerson's HB468 when it meets this afternoon at 1 p.m. The bill would prevent the regulation of natural hair braiding at both the state and local levels.

Emerson describes the process as "just a process of twisting hair, sometimes blending natural hair with extensions." In an interview off the House floor last week, Emerson says she will have a natural hair braider sit next to her and braid the hair of a child during her testimony in support of her bill.

At the state level, the bill would prevent the State Board of Cosmetology from regulating the business. Emerson says there is no need for state regulation of a process that "does not include the application of dyes or chemicals."

Emerson's bill would invoke the state's power of preemption to block local governments from regulating the practice as well. The Louisiana Constitution provides that state laws override local government ordinances.

Emerson has a companion resolution, HCR5, that amends the rules of the State Cosmetology Board to define alternative hair and alternative hair designs.

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