New Legislation:  The Certified Natural Hair Styli

Nov 5, 2012
Most consumers have heard about the Natural Hair Movement transitioning thousands across the globe. There is new legislation enforced and available in five states for natural hair persons to become a Certified Natural Hair Stylist.

First: Let us begin with Alopecia
Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. Alopecia is a very broad umbrella which includes over 75 categories of hair loss for men, women and children of all ethnicities. Some of these categories may include hair breakage, hair thinning, patchy areas, baldness, marginal Alopecia, banded Alopecia, and Trichotillomania just to name a few. In addition, there are scalp conditions which causes discomfort to millions of consumers. Included are: dry scalp, oily scalp, itchy scalp, flaky scalp, scalp lesions, cysts, bacterial infections, fungal infections and on goes the list. Many consumers have suffered with Alopecia from chemical relaxers, brazillian hair smoothing systems, excessive heat, hair coloring, etc, and decided to go natural from all chemical services. Furthermore, many consumers have experienced severe scalp conditions which prohibits them from enjoying chemical services. Some consumers press/flat iron their hair or choose to wear it natural.

Secondly: Natural Hair Meetups
There are numerous ‘Natural Hair Groups’ whom have organized around the world in support of the others wanting to make the transition to natural hair. Most groups began in the home of the organizer. Attendees are instructed to bring your own comb and a towel and would style one another’s hair. Information is shared about new products, techniques, etc. In my opinion, sanitation and sterilization practices are not followed, in comparison to having your natural hair styled in a hair salon or natural salon environment. Sanitized containers and solutions are mandatory by the State. In a home environment, consumers are at a higher risk for contagious scalp conditions when a person does not know what it looks like. Unknowingly, when a person allows pets in their home and shots and hygiene is not maintained, the consumer is at a higher risk for communicable disease. Scary isn’t it! On a positive note, I must give kudos to Founder Dee Johnson of The Nappiology Natural Hair Group, for inviting me to speak to her group about Trichology, Healthy Hair and Scalp Care in 2009 at a library facility.

Thirdly: New Legislation: The Certified Natural Hair Stylist
The Natural Hair Specialist was created in 1993, with education hours ranging from state to state. On June 14, 2006, TDLR offered a specialty certificate in braiding requiring a short 35 hour course, under the Texas Occupations Code # 1602.002(b).
Braiders may not shampoo, condition or dry hair, or use glue when adding extensions.
At this time there are a few states who are currently exempt from a braiding license which include: Arizona, California, Conneticut, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Washington.
Furthermore, the status is unclear for the following states: Massachusettts, Maine, Kentucky, Hawaii, Idaho, Delaware, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin.
Since 2011, new legislation is in place in five states for natural hair consumers to become a “Certified Natural Hair Stylist”. The new law not only targets unlicensed hair braiders, but unlicensed manicurists. This certification has become available to increase education about sanitation and sterilization and decrease communicable scalp diseases to consumers. States which have this curriculum in place include: Tennessee requiring 300 hours, North Carolina requiring 300 hours, New York State requiring 300 hours, Michigan requiring 400 hours, and Ohio requiring 450 hours. Students must pass the curriculum and exam provided by the Board. More states are yet to come.

Natural Hair Facts
Shampooing your hair and scalp is vital for healthy natural hair.
A cold water rinse then applying a hair conditioner is not recommended. ALWAYS cleanse your hair and scalp first, then condition it.
If you have a scalp condition, a twist style that you leave up for 3 weeks or longer is not a wise choice. Address the scalp condition first, then the trendy style may be done. Although not publicized, Alopecia and scalp conditions affect natural hair consumers.
The ‘sulfate’ shampoos, which include the ingredient sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and sodium laurate sulfate are lather ingredients used in shampoos, bath and shower gels, bubble bath and toothpaste. They are non-toxic to the skin, scalp and mouth when rinsed off and out, and has a degreasing ability. This degreasing, lathering ingredient is required to remove heavy buildup of scalp oils/pomades, scalp odor, product buildup from scalp and hair, and oral cleansing of food particles. Check your toothpaste for this ingredient. Three agencies: OSHA, NTP, and IARC have all rated SLS and SLES as being non-carcinogenic.
In closing, the laws have changed for the unlicensed hair braiders and unlicensed manicurists. Protecting the public from communicable diseases is a priority for most Boards. If you would like to become “Certified” as a natural hair stylist, you must go back to school.

All questions may be directed to Dr. Linda Amerson, world re-nowned Doctor of Trichology, (817) 265-8854