Growing up in the Ivory Coast, Lynn Schofield learned to braid from her family. More than 30 years ago, she moved to the United States and brought with her the knowledge and passion for braiding. When Lynn moved to Louisiana, she opened her own braiding salon: Afro Touch. It was so successful that Lynn expanded the business to four locations with more than 20 employees.
What started as a way for Lynn to support her family soon grew to be something larger. Braiding offered a great way for her employees to support themselves and their families without a formal education. Lynn was very proud that she was able to employ so many people, especially young black women, and give them a chance to take the first steps toward their American Dream.
But that all changed in 2003, when the Board began requiring braiders to obtain a license. As a result, Lynn could no longer staff her salons. Instead of opening more locations, as she had planned, Lynn was forced to shut down her salons. Today, only one remains.
Cosmetology | Economic Liberty | Hair Braiding | Occupational Licensing
Louisiana Hair Braiders Fight For Right To Earn An Honest Living
Hair-braiders in Louisiana are required to complete 500 hours of unnecessary and irrelevant training, pass an exam and pay annual licensing fees just to do their job. Many hair braiders have moved to neighboring states,…