Nivea Earl is an Arkansas native with a long-held passion for natural hair care. She has been braiding since she was just 16 years old. She has attended seminars about natural braiding from nationally-recognized experts in braiding like Isis Brantley and others. As a wife and mother of two, she wanted to provide for her family while pursuing her passion. So, in February 2013, Nivea started her own natural hair business, Twistykinks.
Nivea wants to be an upstanding business woman. But Arkansas’s laws force her to operate underground and illegally. The Arkansas Department of Health told Nivea that she had to have a cosmetology license to braid hair. Worse yet, the Department of Health told her that there were no programs in Arkansas that trained students in natural African hair braiding. In other words, if Nivea wants to operate legally, she has to spend thousands of dollars on 1,500 hours of irrelevant government-mandated training. Undaunted, Nivea continues to pursue her dream to use her talent to earn an honest living.
Hair braiding is a simple and safe practice that the government has no business regulating. But in Arkansas, braiders may not sell their services unless they complete 1,500 hours of government-mandated cosmetology training, not one…