Louisiana training mandate for hair braiding challenged in court

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A lawsuit filed in Baton Rouge says Louisiana imposes onerous and unconstitutional permit requirements on people who braid hair for a living.

The suit was filed by three practitioners of natural hair braiding techniques practiced widely in African American communities. The suit says it's difficult to comply with the state's requirement for 500 hours of training. That's because few cosmetology schools offer the course and Louisiana doesn't even appear to offer the required exam.

Louisiana's cosmetology board is the defendant in the state court suit filed by the Institute for Justice. That organization has challenged hair braiding requirements in other states, including Mississippi. And it has pursued past challenges of Louisiana licensing requirements for florists, and requirements for practitioners of cosmetic eyebrow threading.