Tennesseans could soon go into hair-braiding without a cosmetology license from the state.
The proposal (HB320/SB1185) passed the Tennessee House of Representatives Monday night mostly on a party line vote. Republicans generally support the measure, which they say will create jobs.
"Eliminating this requirement could mean potentially thousands of Tennesseans would have the opportunity to earn a living braiding hair," said Dickson Republican Mary Littleton, the sponsor of the measure.
But Rep. London Lamar, D-Memphis, said it could put women in danger.
“Hair braiders who don’t understand people’s hair often times ruin their hair causing alopecia, permanent hair loss, and the fact that they shouldn’t have licenses is creating a dangerous precedent," Lamar said on the House floor.
Currently, those engaging in natural hairstyling have to complete 300 hours of practice before they can be licensed.
Under the new proposal, only 16 hours of training would be required, along with a $30 fee.