March 13, 2015

When Ash Patel teamed up with the Institute for Justice to fight Texas’ requirement that eyebrow threaders get a license to work, he knew he would win. But he probably never thought that his name would become synonymous with one of IJ’s most important economic liberty victories in its 25-year history. Ash moved to Texas from India to pursue his American Dream of opening up an eyebrow threading salon. His involvement with IJ began in 2009, when Texas demanded that eyebrow threaders obtain an expensive cosmetology license—even though beauty schools teach absolutely nothing about eyebrow threading. Ash shut down his successful business to avoid paying $2,000 in fines. But he knew that one day he would open up his threading salon again. And six years later, his patience paid off when the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the state had violated the Texas Constitution when it ordered threaders to obtain 750 hours of conventional cosmetology training. After the decision came down, Ash immediately went to work to get his new business off the ground in Austin. Ash’s new salon is thriving and threaders all over the state are now free to work without having to obtain a government-issued license.

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