Andrew Wimer
Andrew Wimer · April 24, 2023

ARLINGTON, Va.—Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed HB 353, a bill to revise cosmetology laws that exempts natural hair braiders from licensing requirements. Prior to the bill, Montana braiders were required to get a cosmetology license needing 1500 hours of education. Montana joins the majority of states to become the 33rd that requires no license for natural braiding.

“We are excited that Montana is the 33rd state to remove barriers to entrepreneurship for braiders,” said Institute for Justice (IJ) Legislative Counsel Jessica Poitras. “Braiders can now work across Montana without needing to overcome unnecessary red tape.”

Montana is one of the least burdensome states when it comes to licensing lower-income occupations. In the most recent edition of License to Work, the Institute for Justice ranks the state 48th for the number of occupations licensed and the average burden of acquiring those licenses (1st is considered worst in the study.)