North Dakota became the latest state to untangle natural hair braiders and eyebrow threaders from a thicket of licensing red tape thanks to a bill signed earlier this year. Before the law was signed, threaders could only work in North Dakota if they became a licensed aesthetician, a credential that requires a minimum of 600 hours of coursework. The requirements for braiders were even more burdensome, requiring a cosmetology license, which needs at least 1,800 hours of classes or 420 days.
Under HB 1345, braiders and threaders are completely exempt from licensing and are now free to work without a government permission slip. With the governor’s signature, North Dakota is now the 26th state to end licensing for hair braiders. Among those states, 15 (including South Dakota) enacted their reforms in just the past five years. Bills to repeal licenses for braiders are currently pending in Florida, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.