Washington DC Hairbraiding

Washington DC Hair Braiding

Taalib-Din Abdul Uqdah v. District of Columbia
IJ Frees D.C. Hairbraiders from a Tangle of Regulations

IJ client Taalib-Din Abdul Uqdah

The Institute for Justice represented Taalib-Din Abdul Uqdah and his wife Pamela Ferrell in their successful challenge to the 1938 Cosmetology Code of the District of Columbia.  For more than a decade, Uqdah, the owner of a successful African hair-braiding salon, Cornrows & Co., was harassed by the unelected Board of Cosmetology of the District of Columbia, which wanted to impose the antiquated Cosmetology Code on Uqdah’s business, even though the practices and techniques contained in the 1938 cosmetology statute have nothing to do with and are in fact diametrically opposed to the centuries-old art of African hairstyling.

As a result of the lawsuit, the District of Columbia government deregulated its cosmetology industry allowing hairbraiders to practice their craft without unnecessary or intrusive government regulation.

Essential Background


Backgrounder: Challenging Barriers to Economic Opportunity on this case

Client Photo

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Legal Briefs and Decisions


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Case Timeline

Filed Lawsuit:


November 1, 1991

Court Filed:


U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia



February 2, 1992:  Trial Court granted defendant’s motion to dismiss



December 1992:  D.C. City Council repealed cosmetology regulations

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