Ohio Hairbraiding

Hosey v. Ohio State Board of Cosmetology

Under Ohio law, it is illegal to braid hair without a cosmetology license.  Obtaining the license requires 1,500 hours of cosmetology school.  (Compare that to the 20 hours of training required to serve as a security guard with a firearm or the 130 hours of training to become an emergency medical technician, or even the 445 hours to become a police officer.)

Braiding is a skill usually passed down from generation to generation of African-American women.  It is neither taught nor tested in state-approved cosmetology school.  For hairbraiders and their advocates, requiring braiders to spend nine months in school and thousands of dollars to acquire a license to do what they already know how to do makes no sense.

In October 1997 Ohio braiders represented by the Institute for Justice filed a federal lawsuit challenging the irrational requirement that braiders obtain cosmetology licenses.  In September 1998, the court rejected an attempt by the Cosmetology Board to dismiss the case.  During the course of IJ’s litigation, the state legislature reformed the cosmetology laws creating a natural haircare license and the lawsuit was dismissed as moot.

Essential Background

Images

Backgrounder: Challenging Barriers to Economic Opportunity

Client Photo - none available

Client Video - none available

Latest Release: African Hairbraiders Seek To Untangle Regulations (November 16, 1998)

Legal Briefs and Decisions

none available

Release: Ohio Lawsuit Challenges Harebrained Hairbraiding Regulations (October 1, 1997)

Case Timeline

Filed Lawsuit:

 

October 1, 1997

Court Filed:

 

Federal District Court for the Southern District of Ohio

Decision(s):

 

September 17, 1998: Federal trial court rejected Cosmetology Board’s request to dismiss the case

 

 

In 1998 the state legislature reformed the cosmetology laws creating a natural haircare license and shortly thereafter the lawsuit was dismissed as moot

Additional Releases

Maps, Charts and Facts

Release: African Hairbraiders Seek To Untangle Regulations (November 16, 1998)

Chart: Licensing Facts for Ohio's Occupations

Release: Ohio Court Gives Hairbraiders First Step to Legal Victory (September 17, 1998)


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