Much occupational regulation is anti-competitive in effect and intent. Though rules are cloaked in pious claims of protecting the public, their real aim is to protect established market participants. Hair braiding is a classic example. Hair braiders do not do what cosmetologists do, but many states have required cosmetology licenses for hair braiders.
One victim of such rules is Isis Brantley of Dallas, Texas. She was arrested in 1997 for braiding hair without a cosmetology license, but she got the law changed in 2007. Even with that change, however, she was barred from opening a school to teach hair braiding. Finally, a U.S. District Court has set aside the rules barring the school.
It’s disgraceful that the government stands in the way of entrepreneurs such as Ms. Brantley, and I wish her and her school well.