American Hairbraiders and Natural Haircare Association

March 12, 2015

In 1995, Taalib-din Uqdah and Pamela Ferrell created the American Hairbraiders and Natural Haircare Association (AHNHA). Uqdah and Ferrell are the proprietors of Cornrows & Co., a Washington, D.C. salon. Ferrell has published a self-help text entitled, Let’s Talk Hair: Every Black Woman’s Personal Consultation for Healthy Growing Hair. After fighting for more than a decade against District of Columbia bureaucrats who were trying to close their business, Uqdah and Ferrell decided to help others involved in similar predicaments. The association provides assistance to natural hairstylists nationwide on licensing and regulation issues and lobbies for deregulation. It also publishes a newsletter, provides industry standards of practice and codes of conduct, and is working to develop an accreditation and certification program. Its primary mission is to protect natural haircare providers from burdensome legislation that prevents them from earning a living. As AHNHA’s Taalib-Din Uqdah explains, the effect of oppressive licensing laws is that the natural haircare industry has “all been clandestine. This lawsuit is designed to remove that fear.”