The two plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Iowa’s restrictive hair braiding regulations have announced they will drop their suit following an imminent change to the state’s occupational licensing laws. The Associated Press reported yesterday that the two African-style hair braiders, represented by the Institute for Justice, will dismiss their case once the new legislation takes effect. The AP reported:
The lawsuit filed in district court by Aicheria Bell and Achan Agit against the state’s cosmetology board will be dismissed once new legislation takes effect Friday, said Meagan Forbes, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, a Virginia-based law firm representing the women. The pending law will allow people to do natural hair braiding in Iowa without a cosmetology license, which requires 2,100 hours of training that is mostly unrelated to braiding.
“It’s a major victory for Aicheria and Achan and for African-style hair braiders across the state,” Forbes said.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad affirmed to the AP:
“Licensing and regulations should only be mandated when necessary to serve public health or safety. Natural hair braiding does not require government mandates, regulations, or licensing.”
Iowa is now one of several states to deregulate natural hair braiders, allowing them to work without a burdensome and unnecessary government license. Read more about IJ’s work with hair braiding laws here.