Michelle Robertson is a former resident of Shreveport, Louisiana, where she dreamed of opening her own braiding salon before relocating to Texas. Michelle spent years planning for her business, but was forced to give it up because—like Lynn and Ashley—the braiding license made it impossible to find people who could legally braid hair. It was also impossible for Michelle to stop working, enroll in the 500-hour braiding course (which she did not need) and take a test. A skilled braider with decades of experience, Michelle decided she would rather move to a place where braiding is legal and where she can pursue other opportunities.
Michelle still returns to Louisiana to braid hair sometimes. Other times, her Louisiana clients drive to Texas just to see her. What is legal on one side of the state line is illegal on the other. And yet, it cannot be said that braiding is dangerous in Louisiana but safe anywhere you cross the state line into Texas, Arkansas or Mississippi.
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,…