Mississippi Hairbraiding

Challenging Barriers To Economic Opportunity: Untangling African Hairbraiders from Mississippi's Cosmetology Regime

The Institute for Justice helped secure a major victory for economic liberty in April 2005 when the governor of Mississippi signed legislation freeing the state’s African hairbraiders from the irrelevant and unnecessary licensing requirements of the State Board of Cosmetology. Previously, braiders across the state were prevented from earning an honest living practicing or teaching their craft—until they completed up to several thousand hours of cosmetology training that generally do not include the art of African hairbraiding.

In April 2004, the Institute for Justice filed a civil rights lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi challenging Mississippi’s cosmetology laws on behalf of Melony Armstrong, an experienced Tupelo braider who wishes to teach her trade, as well as Christina Griffin and Margaret Burden, two aspiring braiders who want to learn from Armstrong.

Prompted by IJ’s lawsuit, the state legislature exempted braiders from the cosmetology regulations. Braiders are now simply required to pay a $25 registration fee with the Board of Health, post basic health and sanitation guidelines at their places of business, and complete a self-test on that information. Now, entrepreneurs like Armstrong, Griffin and Burden are free to pursue their dreams in the occupation of their choice.

Since the new law took effect, nearly 1,500 braiders have registered with the state.


  • Melony Armstrong

    Melony Armstrong was working for other people when she decided she wanted to learn a skill that would enable her to open her own business.  She loved the idea of natural hair care and took a short course in African-style braiding.  She was hooked.  She taught herself and practiced on people for free.  As she…

  • Christina Griffin

    Before Christina started going to Naturally Speaking, her hair had broken and fallen out from chemical damage, but it has been healthy since she started caring for it naturally.  A single mother of two young children unable to find skilled work in Tupelo, Christina has worked at a series of retail and manual labor jobs…

  • Margaret Burden

    Margaret is a dedicated entrepreneur.  She has organized a small group of women in the beauty industry in the Tupelo area.  She already sells cosmetics (in addition to her full-time job) and is excited about improving her braiding skills and being able to braid legally.  Like most African-American women, she learned basic braiding skills from…

Mississippi Hairbraiding


Date Filed

August 5, 2004

Original Court

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi

Case Status



Media Contact

Sign Up for Case Updates

Scroll To

History Of The Case

In The News

To say Mississippi state bureaucrats are wigging out over Melony Armstrong’s Tupelo business is an understatement.  Government agents have decided that Melony’s profession is so dangerous and difficult that she needs 3,200 hours of classes—about three academic years of school—to teach others her trade.  Is she trying to teach future paramedics or nurses?  No.  She wants to teach African-style hairbraiding.

Welcome to the tangled mess of cosmetology licensing in Mississippi.  Hairbraiders—and those that want to teach braiding—must be licensed, but Mississippi offers no licenses specifically for braiding or for braiding instruction.  Instead, to practice hairbraiding Melony had to spend 300 hours in class to earn a license in something called “wigology,” even though wigology programs don’t emphasize braiding.  Now that she wants to teach her craft to others, the State says she’s not allowed—unless she spends 3,200 hours in cosmetology and cosmetology instructor programs.  Those programs don’t teach braiding either.

This makes as much sense as requiring artists to get degrees in, say, home economics and chemistry before they may teach high school art.

In the 3,200 classroom hours it would take for Melony to get a license to teach hairbraiding, [1] she could instead become licensed in all of the following professions:  emergency medical technician (122 hours plus five emergency runs), [2] paramedic (1,700 hours), [3] ambulance driver (8 hours), [4] law enforcement officer (ten weeks), [5] firefighter (six weeks), [6] real estate appraiser (75 hours) [7] and hunting education instructor (20 hours). [8]   And that would all take more than 600 hours less than getting her license to teach braiding.

Mississippi’s regulatory scheme leaves anyone who wants to teach or to learn the art of African hairbraiding out in the cold.  Perversely, the State licenses cosmetology instructors with no experience braiding to teach braiding, even as it forbids experienced braiders from teaching their craft (unless they sacrifice three years and thousands of dollars to learn unrelated skills).  The result is that students of braiding have no skilled and legal instructors to learn from.  In effect, the State of Mississippi has outlawed both the teaching and learning of African-style braiding as a business.

Only one group benefits from Mississippi’s regulatory regime:  the cosmetology establishment.  Practicing cosmetologists get to set the bar for entry to their profession high (and thereby keep competition to a minimum) and cosmetology schools get captive customers.  Not surprisingly, these are the same people who write and enforce the cosmetology regulations—the State Board of Cosmetology, whose five members must all be practitioners of at least 10 years. [9]   The Board is officially advised by other practicing cosmetologists and cosmetology schools. [10]

All this explains why on August 5, 2004, the Institute for Justice filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, challenging Mississippi’s cosmetology and wigology licensing laws on behalf of Melony Armstrong, along with Christina Griffin and Margaret Burden, two women who wish to learn hairbraiding from Melony and become licensed.  Mississippi’s cosmetology and wigology licensing laws needlessly sti­fle job and entre­preneur­ial opportunities and suppress a vibrant means of cultural expression.  In a state with 5.6 percent unemployment, [11] irrational government regulations such as these unnecessarily block the way towards a brighter future for people like Melony, Christina and Margaret.

The ramifications of this lawsuit extend far beyond the individuals involved.  Occupational licensing laws in all 50 states restrict entry into hundreds of professions.  Such laws have the effect of cutting off the bottom rungs of the economic ladder, thereby preventing aspiring entrepreneurs from earning their share of the American Dream.  The fact that occupational licensing laws are typically enforced by boards comprised of practitioners within the regulated industry—the very people those seeking licensing hope to compete with—exacerbates the inherent exclusionary effect of occupational licensing laws.  This lawsuit directly addresses the boundaries of government power to regulate entry into businesses and professions.

Christina and Margaret seek to take their first steps toward financial independence; Melony seeks to take her second.  Mississippi’s oppressive laws prevent all of them from exercising their right to pursue their chosen professions.  This lawsuit is the latest in the Institute for Justice’s effort to reinvigorate judicial protection for economic liberty—the basic civil right of every American to pursue a lawful business or profession free from arbitrary or excessive government regulation.  Economic liberty is an essential part of our nation’s promise of opportunity.

The Art and Business of African Hairbraiding

The art of hairbraiding traces back thousands of years to Africa.  Today, practi­tioners engage in the highly specialized and intricate craft of twisting, braid­ing, weaving and locking natural hair fashions, mostly for African-American clients whose characteristically textured hair is perfect for such styling.  These distinct techniques generally are grouped togeth­er under the rubric of “natural hair care,” because they do not use any chemical or other artificial hairstyling technique.  In fact, the use of chemicals and other such techniques that alter the hair from its natural state is antithetical to adherents of natural hair care.

Hairbraiding is more than a means of entrepreneurship—it is an important form of cultural expression.  Until very recently, the dominant standard of beauty was defined in white terms, and African-American women who struggled to comport with this definition turned to chemical straighteners and relaxers, often at great cost to the health of their hair and their self-esteem. [12]   More recently, the traditional African hairstyles that emphasize the natural texture and beauty of African-American hair have come back into vogue and gained in popularity.  American braiders constantly adapt traditional braiding techniques to design new, creative styles.  The hairstyles are artistic and individualized and avoid the serious damage that can occur when hair is treated with chemicals and other artificial products.

Nationwide, natural hair care has grown into a multi-million dollar industry.  Because the establishment of a natural hair care business requires fairly little capital and skills that are often passed from one generation to the next, a free and open market in the natural hair care industry has unlimited potential to provide entrepreneurial and employment opportu­nities while delivering popular services and products to millions of consumers.  It is a particularly desirable employment for people with children, second jobs, or other demands upon their time, because it gives such person’s the flexibility of scheduling their own appointments, according to their own schedule.

But because of cosmetology licensing laws in nearly all 50 states, [13] mainstream cosmetologists enjoy a virtual monopo­ly over all forms of hairstyling.  As a result, most African-style hairbraiders are forced to operate underground; many would-be practitio­ners are dis­cour­aged altogether; and the natural hair care industry is con­signed to the status of an outsider that must fight the prevailing ortho­doxy enforced by the State.

Hairbraiding and Occupational Licensing

Government at all levels restricts entry into trades and professions.  When those regulations exceed legitimate health and safety objectives, they most impact individuals the government should be working with, rather than against—particularly those with little capital or few skills. [14]   The Institute for Justice has completed studies demonstrating the extensive regulatory barriers to entry-level entrepreneurship in seven U.S. cities including Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, New York, San Antonio and San Diego. [15]   Recently, the Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter detailed regulatory burdens facing two major cities in the Grand Canyon State—Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz. [16]   The newest study by the Institute for Justice Washington Chapter analyzes some of the most pervasive and oppressive barriers to entrepreneurs in Washington state. [17]

Some of the most burdensome barriers to entrepreneurship are occupa­tional licensing laws.  Nearly 500 occupations are regulat­ed by states, and about half of those require state licenses. [18]   Occu­pa­tions requiring government licenses include not only the medical, legal and other highly specialized profes­sions, but also profes­sions in which justifica­tion for restric­tions on entry is virtu­ally nonexistent—such as beekeepers, lightning rod salespeople, fence install­ers, flower arrangers and septic tank clean­ers.  Currently, occupa­tional licensing laws govern entry into about ten percent of all jobs in America. [19]   All 50 states require barbers and beauticians to be licensed.

Typically, licensing boards are comprised of members of the regulated profession, with the coercive power of government at their disposal.  As a result, licensing requirements often exceed valid public health and safety objectives, and instead are used to reduce competition threatened by newcomers.  As economist Walter Williams observes, these laws and regulations “discriminate against certain people,” particularly “outsiders, latecomers and the resource­less,” among whom members of minority groups dispro­portionately are represented. [20]

Ironically, the licensing laws that now entangle African hairbraiders were put in place during the 1930s by hairdressers (today’s cosmetologists), who at that time, like natural hairstylists today, were renegades fighting an entrenched monopoly.  Prior to the 1920s, barbers and cosmeticians (who performed skin care and some hair cutting) enjoyed an exclusive monopoly over all types of hair treat­ment bestowed on them by the government through occupational licensing laws. [21]   Hairdressers were arrested in several states for violating the licensing laws. [22]   During that time, hairdressers organized their own trade associa­tion and sought to break the barbers’ monopoly through lobbying and litigation.  The following resolution, passed by the National Hair­dressers Association at its 1923 convention, parallels the hairbraiders’ struggle today:

RESOLVED, while expressing our good will to those engaged in business as barbers and repudiating any thought of encroaching on the domain of their work or of soliciting the patronage of men for work ordinarily done in the barber shop, we condemn the antagonistic legislation which would attempt to classify as barbers and subject to barbers’ laws those who are engaged in the practice of our profession, and we assert the right of engaging in all work . . . ordinarily done in the hairdressing and beauty parlor on women and children, free from the domination of barbers’ laws. [23]

The cosmetologists ultimately succeeded in freeing them­selves from the barbers’ monopoly and obtained a separate licens­ing process—through which they then created a state-enforced car­tel of their own that subjects everyone engaged in the care or styling of women’s hair, skin, or nails to their domina­tion.  It is a cartel the National Cosmetology Association today fiercely protects.

Caught—Twice—in Mississippi’s Tangled Web of Restrictions

Mississippi’s cosmetology licensing scheme stifles what could be a thriving cultural movement and entrepreneurial enterprise for Mississippians—if only those who know how to braid would be freed to teach the craft to those who want to learn.  The stories of Melony Armstrong, Christina Griffin and Margaret Burden illustrate the tangled web of restrictions African-style braiding and natural hair care face in Mississippi.

A decade ago, Melony Armstrong was working for other people when she decided she wanted to learn a skill that would enable her to open her own business.  She loved the idea of natural hair care and took a short course in African-style braiding.  She was hooked.  She taught herself and practiced on people for free.  As she gained skills, she began braiding out of her home.  But she wanted a legal business, one that she could grow and develop.

So she called the Mississippi Board of Cosmetology.  At first, she was told that in order to braid hair legally, she would have to get a cosmetology license, which requires 1,500 hours of class.  Not only is braiding not part of the curriculum, but Melony would have to learn damaging chemical services that she opposed.  After months of additional phone calls she finally learned that she could get a “wigology” license instead.  A wigology license requires only 300 hours of class and would allow her to braid, weave and use hair extensions (which are part of almost all braided styles).

Melony looked for a wigology program and discovered that, out of the more than 40 cosmetology schools in Mississippi, only two offered wigology.  The closest was one hour away, but with kids at home, Melony couldn’t spend two hours in the car every day to go to class.  Eventually, she convinced a local cosmetology instructor to teach her wigology.  She didn’t learn about braiding in the class, but at least when it was over, she could open a legal business.  When she finished the class, she took the required exam and became a licensed wigologist in 1999.

Melony now operates Naturally Speaking, the only natural haircare establishment in Tupelo.  Business was good, but remembering how difficult it was to get her license, she decided to teach braiding herself.  She called the Board again and discovered yet another regulatory hurdle.  Mississippi does not allow wigology schools.  To learn wigology, students must go to a cosmetology school; to teach wigology, instructors must get a cosmetology instructor’s license.  Mississippi does not offer a wigology instructor’s license.

To braid legally in Mississippi, Melony had to spend 300 hours in a wigology program that doesn’t teach braiding.  Now, to teach braiding legally in Mississippi, Melony would have to spend 3,200 hours in a cosmetology program (1,200 hours) and a cosmetology instructor program (another 2,000 hours), neither of which teach braiding.

Never mind that Melony already knows how to braid (and she already teaches braiding on a limited basis).  The State says she must spend three years of her life learning how to give perms and apply makeup and taking classes in subjects like “teacher personality” and “student motivation.”  To make matters worse, after finally getting a cosmetology instructor license, Melony would have to open a full-blown cosmetology school, with all of the equipment to perform manicuring, makeup and chemical services on hair, even though she would not teach any of those skills—an expensive proposition for a small entrepreneur who just wants to teach braiding and wigology.

Melony now teaches braiding to a few students and she plans to offer them a full wigology curriculum in the hopes that they will be allowed to take the exam and get their licenses.  But most potential students are reluctant to take her classes, fearful that the course won’t count toward a wigology license so that graduates won’t be allowed to take the wigology exam and braid legally.

Christina Griffin and Margaret Burden are two of those fearful students.  Before Christina started going to Naturally Speaking a year ago, her hair had broken and fallen out from chemical damage, but it has been healthy since she started caring for it naturally.  A single mother of two young children unable to find skilled work in Tupelo, Christina has worked at a series of retail and manual labor jobs for nine years.  She wants to start her own business, and hairbraiding is a natural fit for her; she could set her own hours, spend more time with her kids and help other people learn natural hair care.  But like Melony, she can’t spend two hours a day commuting to a class in another city.  Christina wants to attend Melony’s wigology school, where she can take classes at night and learn something that she really enjoys.  But she also wants to become financially independent and to do it legally.  Unless she can take a wigology class at Melony’s school, there is no way that she can realize her dream.

Margaret Burden has begun taking Melony’s classes and hopes that when she completes the program, she will be allowed to sit for the wigologist’s exam.  Margaret is a dedicated entrepreneur.  She has organized a small group of women in the beauty industry in the Tupelo area.  She already sells cosmetics (in addition to her full-time job) and is excited about improving her braiding skills and being able to braid legally.  Like most African-American women, she learned basic braiding skills from her mother and has imparted them to her own daughter.  From Melony, she is learning more complex styles and techniques and hopes to turn those skills into another business.

Mississippi’s Regulatory One-Two Punch to African Hairbraiders

Mississippi’s cosmetology licensing scheme delivers a one-two punch to African hairbraiders.

The first regulatory hurdle—requiring a license that is almost impossible to obtain to practice hairbraiding—keeps even skilled braiders from operating legally.  The second hurdle—requiring yet another license in unrelated subjects to teach hairbraiding—keeps skilled braiders from teaching their trade and aspiring braiders from learning it.  The result is a system that stifles economic opportunity and forces experienced and aspiring braiders alike to operate outside the law (and, ironically, outside the reach of the State’s health and safety regulations).

Mississippi offers four kinds of licenses:  one for cosmetology and one for three specialties, esthetics, manicuring and wigology. [24]   A person licensed in cosmetology may perform any service a manicurist, esthetician or wigologist is licensed to provide. [25]   While a full cosmetology license requires 1,500 hours at a state-accredited cosmetology school, an esthetician need only complete 600 hours, a manicurist 350 hours, and a wigologist just 300 hours of training. [26]   A cosmetology school need not offer individual licenses for any of these specialties.

The State Board of Cosmetology considers African-style hairbraiding to fall under wigology, defined as “service to a wig or hairpiece.” [27]   In theory, that gives aspiring African hairstylists two options: spend 1,500 hours getting a cosmetology license or only 300 hours getting a wigology license.

Of course, neither program requires much instruction in braiding.  (Ridiculously, whether cosmetology or wigology students learn braiding or not, once licensed they may lawfully braid hair.)  In fact, the cosmetology curriculum—which includes pin curls, finger waves and croquignole curling [28] —teaches techniques entirely unrelated and even antithetical to African hairbraiding and other natural hair care (for instance, the use of chemical straighteners).

At only 300 hours, wigology sounds like a better option for aspiring braiders.  It probably teaches some braiding, even though its curriculum focuses on the care of wigs, not braiding. [29]   In practice, however, out of the 42 accredited cosmetology schools in Mississippi, only two offer a separate wigology program.  As a result, most aspiring hairbraiders have three choices:  attend an expensive, 1,500-hour cosmetology program that doesn’t teach braiding, abandon their profession or operate outside the law.

If cosmetology schools don’t have wigology programs, then why don’t wigologists open their own schools?  The Board doesn’t allow wigology schools.  Nor does it offer a wigology-instruction license.

Here, too, the regulatory deck is stacked against African hairstylists, even those like Melony who found a way to get a wigology license.   An experienced manicurist can become a manicuring instructor and open her own school with only 600 additional hours of classes.  An experienced esthetician can become an esthetics instructor and open her own school, also with 600 hours of additional classes. [30]   But if an experienced wigologist wants to teach and open her own school, she has to first obtain a cosmetologist license (another 1,200 hours of class), [31] then a cosmetology instructor’s license (another 2,000 hours of class), [32] and then she can apply for a school license. [33]

Obviously, neither entrepreneurs nor consumers are well-served by Mississippi’s current system. Someone who wants to teach braiding must attend thousands of hours of irrelevant classes.  Someone who wants to become a braider also must attend 1,500 hours of largely irrelevant class, unless she happens to live in one of the two cities with wigology programs.  Knowing how to braid doesn’t get you a license to braid, and having a license to braid hair doesn’t mean you actually know how to do it.

The Legal Battle for Economic Liberty

Of all the rights Americans cherish, the right to earn an honest living is the least protected from government interference.  That right was foremost among the “privileges or immunities” protected by the 14th Amendment.

This lawsuit is another step in the Institute for Justice’s national campaign to restore economic liberty as a basic civil right under the U.S. Constitution.  Our goal is to create a rule of law whereby governments must demonstrate that restraints on entry into businesses or professions are rationally related to legitimate public health and safety objectives.

The Institute for Justice litigates in support of fundamental individual liberties, including economic liberty—the right to earn a living free from arbitrary or excessive government regulation.  IJ has scored significant victories on behalf of entrepreneurs and in the process has opened up long-closed markets.  These important victories include:

Uqdah v. D.C. Board of Cosmetology—Although they lost in court, Taalib-Din Uqdah and his wife Pamela Ferrell prevailed in the court of public opinion in 1993 against the District of Columbia, which eliminated a 1938 Jim Crow-era licensing law for African hairbraiders when the District deregulated cosmetology.

·    Cornwell v. California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology—IJ represented JoAnn Cornwell, creator of the Sisterlocks technique of hair locking, in defeating California’s cosmetology licensing requirement for African braiders in 1999.

·    Farmer v. Arizona Board of Cosmetology—In 2003, Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter (IJ-AZ) filed a lawsuit on behalf of African braider Essence Farmer seeking to dismantle Arizona’s onerous cosmetology regime, which required braiders to attend 1,600 hours of courses that taught nothing about braiding.  Inspired by IJ-AZ’s advocacy, a new law in Arizona now exempts hairbraiders from the State’s outdated cosmetology scheme and Essence will soon be operating Rare Essence Braiding Studio.

·    Jones, et. al. v. Temmer, et. al.—Leroy Jones, Ani Ebong and Girma Molalegne opened Freedom Cabs, Inc., in Denver in 1995 after IJ helped them overcome Colorado’s protectionist taxicab monopoly.  Stemming from pressure in the court of public opinion created by their lawsuit, the state legislature enabled Freedom Cabs to become the first new cab company in Denver in nearly 50 years.  Jones’ testimony also contributed to the breakdown of government-sanctioned taxicab monopolies in Indianapolis and Cincinnati.

·    Ricketts v. City of New York—IJ helped commuter vans fight a public bus monopoly that would not allow the vans to put people to work and take people to work in underserved metropolitan neighborhoods in New York.

·    Clutter v. Transportation Services Authority—IJ represented independent limousine drivers who defeated Las Vegas’ Transportation Services Authority and entrenched limousine companies that had stifled competition.  Through IJ’s litigation, the once-closed market was opened in 2001.

·    Craigmiles v. Giles—In 2003, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that found Tennessee’s government-imposed cartel on casket sales was unconstitutional. This is the highest pro-economic liberty court decision since the New Deal.

·    Swedenburg v. Kelly—In 2002, a federal judge declared unconstitutional New York State’s laws that barred the interstate direct shipment of wine into New York.  That decision was overturned by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  The case will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in the fall of 2004.

Current Litigation

IJ filed this case, Armstrong v. Lunsford, et al., on August 5, 2004, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.  The case alleges violations of the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process, privileges or immunities, and equal protection guarantees.

In its complaint, IJ demonstrates that the State unlawfully deprives Melony Armstrong, Christina Griffin and Margaret Burden of their constitutional rights by enacting regulations not rationally related to any public health, safety or welfare concern that prevent them from pursuing their chosen livelihood.  Allowing manicurists and estheticians to teach and open their own schools, while preventing wigologists from teaching and opening their own schools, makes absolutely no sense. Because Melony, Christina, Margaret and all other braiders will continue to suffer harm to their constitutional rights if these laws are allowed to stand, IJ seeks a declaration that the regulations are unconstitutional and an injunction preventing the State from enforcing them.

The Institute for Justice filed a similar case, Diaw v. Washington State Cosmetology, Barbering, Esthetics, and Manicuring Advisory Board, et al., on the same date in King County Superior Court in Seattle challenging the application of Washington’s cosmetology regulations to African hairbraiders.

With these two cases, IJ hopes to build on the victories in California and Arizona and bring the same results to Mississippi and Washington.  IJ’s efforts will not cease until the right of every American to earn an honest living is secure.

Litigation Team

The lead attorney in Armstrong v. Lunsford is Institute for Justice Senior Attorney Dana Berliner, who successfully represented limousine drivers in IJ’s challenge to Nevada’s licensing procedures.  She also represented book vendors in a successful challenge to New Orleans’ prohibition on selling books on the street.

The Institute for Justice is ably assisted in this litigation by local counsel Rick Patt of Langston & Langston, PLLC, in Jackson, Miss.

The Institute for Justice is a nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest law firm that advances a rule of law under which individuals can control their destinies as free and responsible members of society.  Through strategic litigation, training, communication and outreach, the Institute secures greater protection for individual liberty and illustrates and extends the benefits of freedom to those whose full enjoyment is denied by the government.  The Institute for Justice litigates to reinvigorate economic liberty, to preserve property rights, promote educational choice and defend the right to freely speak, write and publish on all subjects.  The national organization trains law students, lawyers and others in the tactics of public interest litigation with the goal of limiting governmental power and advancing individual freedom.  The Institute was formed in 1991.

For more information contact:

John Kramer, Vice President for Communications

Lisa Knepper, Director of Communications

Institute for Justice

901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900

Arlington, VA 22203

(703) 682-9320

[1] It is not clear if Armstrong would have to take 2,000 or 2,750 class hours of a cosmetology instructor course in addition to the 1,200 needed to obtain a cosmetology license.  The Mississippi Code indicates that she would need 750 hours, plus 2,000 hours because she has not been a practicing cosmetologist for two years.  Miss. Code Ann. § 73-7-15.  However, the Mississippi Regulations state that an applicant with less than two years active experience need only complete a 2,000-hour course.  CMSR 50-009-001(V).

[2] See Mississippi Department of Health website at http://ems.doh.ms.gov/ems/ems_emt-b_schools.html.

[3] A paramedic must already have an EMT license.  CSMR 12-000-002, § 41-60-13(IV).

[4] See Mississippi Department of Health website at http://ems.doh.ms.gov/ems/ems_d_training.html.

[5] Estimating 40 hours per week, basic law enforcement officer training would take 400 hours.  See Mississippi Department of Public Safety website at www.dps.state.ms.us/dps/dps.nsf/Training/B?OpenDocument.

[6] Estimating 40 hours per week, basic firefighter training would take 240 hours.  See Mississippi Department of Insurance website at www.doi.state.ms.us/fireacad/fireacad/fa_faqs.htm.

[7] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-34-17 (2004).

[8] The initial hunter education class takes 10 hours.  http://www.mdwfp.com/hunting_edu.asp.  According to the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, another 8-10 hour course is required to teach the basic hunter education course.

[9] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-7-7; Miss. Code Ann. § 73-7-1.

[10] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-7-7.  The Board receives recommendations for regulation from the Cosmetology Council, which is comprised of the five members of the Board, five members of the Mississippi Hairdressers and Cosmetologist Association, five members of Mississippi Cosmetology School Association, five member of the Mississippi Independent Beauticians Association and five members of the School Owners and Teachers Association.

[11] Mississippi Employment Security Commission, Unemployment Rates Counties and State, May 2004 (available at http://www.mesc.state.ms.us/lmi/files/urates/urate.pdf at 83).

[12] See JoAnne Cornwell, That Hair Thing (Sisterlocks Pub, 1997).  One expert estimates that 80 percent of black women suffer damaged hair or hair loss.  See Willie Morrow, “20 Million Women Going Bald,” Beauty Express (4th Quarter 1996), p. 36.

[13] A handful of states, including Washington, D.C., Maryland, Michigan, New York, Tennessee, Florida, California and, most recently, Arizona, have exempted African hairbraiding from the general cosmetology regulatory regime.  See D.C. Code §§ 2-421(17) and (19) and 2-432(a); Md. Bus. Occ. &  Prof. Code § 5-101(k)(2)(iii); Mich. Comp. L. Ann. § 339.1203a(3); N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law § 400(5); Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-4-102(a)(14)-(15); Fla. Stat. Ann. § 477.0132; 2004 Ariz. Sess. Laws 102; Cal.Bus. & Prof. Code § 7316(2)(2).

[14] See Walter Williams, The State Against Blacks (New York:  McGraw-Hill, 1982).

[15] See Scott G. Bullock, Baltimore: No Harbor for Entrepreneurs (Institute for Justice, 1997); Dana Berliner, Running Boston’s Bureaucratic Marathon (Institute for Justice, 1997); Clint Bolick, Entrepreneurship in Charlotte: Strong Spirit, Serious Barriers (Institute for Justice, 1997); Dana Berliner, How Detroit Drives Out Motor City Entrepreneurs (Institute for Justice, 1997); William H. Mellor, Is New York City Killing Entrepreneurship? (Institute for Justice, 1996); Donna G. Matias, Entrepreneurship in San Antonio: Much to Celebrate, Much to Fight For (Institute for Justice, 1997); Clint Bolick, Brightening the Beacon: Removing Barriers to Entrepreneurship in San Diego (Institute for Justice, 1997).  Copies of all studies may be obtained from the Institute.

[16] See Timothy D. Keller, Burdensome Barriers: How Excessive Regulations Impede Entrepreneurship in Arizona (Goldwater Institute, 2003).

[17] See Jeanette M. Petersen, Entrepreneurship in the Emerald City: Regulations Cloud the Sparkle of Small Business (Washington Policy Center, August 2004).

[18] See S. David Young, The Rule of Experts: Occupational Licensing in America (Washington: Cato Institute, 1987), pp. 4-5; Clint Bolick Grassroots Tyranny: The Limits of Federal­ism (Washington: Cato Institute, 1993), p. 144.

[19] See S. David Young, The Rule of Experts: Occupational Licensing in America (Washington: Cato Institute, 1987); Simon Rottenberg, ed., Occupational Licensure and Regulation (Washington: American Enterprise Institute, 1980); and Benjamin Shimberg, et al., Occupational Licensing: Practices and Policies (Washington: Public Affairs Press, 1973).

[20] Williams, supra, at p. xvi.

[21] NCA’s Diamond Jubilee Years (Korea: National Cosmetology Association, 1995).

[22] Id. at p.7; see also Keith v. State Barber Bd., 212 P. 871 (Kan. 1923); accord, Jeffs v. Bd. of Examiners of Barbers, 30 N.W.2d 445 (Mich. 1948); Johnson v. Ervin, 285 N.W. 77 (Minn. 1939); Lane v. State, 232 N.W. 96 (Neb. 1930); Banghart v. Walsh, 171 N.E. 154 (Ill. 1930); cf. Whitcomb v. Emerson, 46 Cal.App.2d 263, 115 P.2d 892 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. 1941) (striking down appli­ca­tion of Califor­nia cosme­tology licensing to facial massage); New York State Hair­dressers & Cosmetolo­gists Ass’n v. Cuomo, 369 N.Y.S.2d 965 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cty. 1975) (invalidating law allowing only barbers and not cosmetologists to cut hair of both sexes).

[23] Id.

[24] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-7-9 (2004).

[25] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-7-2 (2004)

[26] Miss. Code §§ 73-7-13, 73-7-18, 73-7-21, 73-7-53 (2004)

[27] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-7-2(l).

[28] CMSR 50-009-001 § 303(I).

[29] Braiding, weaving, and extensions are included as one part of the wigology curriculum.  Code Miss. Reg. 50-009-001 § 303(IV)(A).

[30] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-7-15(2) & (3) (2004).

[31] Because she has a wigologist license, she will be able to deduct 300 hours from the usual 1,500 cosmetology course.  Miss. Code Ann. § 73-7-55 (2004).

[32] The cosmetology instructor training is 750 hours.  The person also needs either an additional 2,000 hours of instructor training or can practice as a licensed cosmetologist for two years.  Miss. Code Ann. § 73-7-15(1)(e) (2004).

[33] Miss. Code Ann. 73-7-16 (2004).

JOIN THE FIGHT!   Sign up for newsletters: