Bill aims to deregulate hair braiding in Indiana

Indiana is one step closer to deregulating hair braiding.

A lawmaker from the area wants to untangle the rules surrounding the styling.

The bill is garnering two different sets of opinions.

Sarah Davies, of South Bend, is in favor of less regulation.

“In Africa, we are taught as kids from the age of five, your parents teach you how to start doing hair,” Davies said.

Now she does it in her home for family and friends, but wants to start making some money from it.

“I would like to have my own business for hair braiding,” Davies said.

She might have that chance with House Bill 1243.

Drafted by Republican State Rep. Tim Wesco, the bill would deregulate hair braiding, so folks like Davies wouldn’t have to go through cosmetology school to legally make money doing it.

“I really hope there will be a change,” Davies said.

Not everyone hopes for that change.

Maitraya Martinez braids hair too, but as a licensed stylist at Hair Crafters Salon in South Bend.

She simultaneously attended high school and beauty school to become a cosmetologist.

“It’s about a two-year process. I went half days to a beauty school, and you have to log 1500 hours of actual practice total in the classroom and also on clients as well,” Martinez, said.

After all that hard work, Martinez doesn’t want the regulations she followed suddenly brushed way.

“It really should be in the salon, because we had to spend lots of money to get where we are today, and that’s something that’s a craft of an extension of what we do on a daily basis,” Martinez said.

Whether things will change is now up to the Indiana Senate. The bill cleared the House on Monday.

As they wait to see what happens next, both Davies and Martinez say braiding all types of hair is a skill more people should learn.

“If that was something that was more universal, that was taught at each of those schools, then I think that would be more helpful for stylists in general,” Martinez said.

The bill would not apply to chemical treatments or braiding with hair dye.

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