A license to weave: Do you need a professional license to braid hair?

In South Carolina you do have to have a professional license to become a hair braider, but it does not have to be cosmetology license.All you need to offer services is a professional license

A  Utah Woman’s Case

A Utah case recently shed light on the issue on whether hair braiders must be required to possess a cosmetology license. Cosmetology license and hair braider rules and regulations vary from state to state. In Utah there is no distinction between a hair braiding and cosmetology licensing.

A federal judge in Utah ruled in favor of a hair braider who uses her craft to supplement her family’s income. The federal judge in the case said the state’s requirement for Jestina Clayton to get a cosmetology license to braid hair was “unconstitutional and invalid” because cosmetology regulations are irrelevant and do not apply to Clayton’s profession.

Clayton, 30, sued last year after she was found to be in violation of cosmetology regulations by illegally running a hair braiding business without a license. The state argued that Clayton must be licensed because of public health and safety concerns. Clayton ran her hair braiding business out of her Salt Lake City home to support her three children—ages 7, 5 and 1—while her husband finished school.

The judge in the case, US District Judge David Sam, said that for Utah’s cosmetology licensing requirements do not apply to hair braiding and stated “that to premise Jestina’s right to earn a living by braiding hair on that scheme is wholly irrational and a violation of her constitutionally protected rights.”

Sam said the state simply could not prove that a cosmetology license for hair braiding is needed to protect public health. The judge also said Utah has not investigated any health or safety threats associated with hair braiding.

Currently, lawyers for the state of Utah are reviewing the case and deciding whether to appeal the ruling.

Hair Braiding in South Carolina

South Carolina and Mississippi are among a few states that do not require hair braiders to have cosmetology licenses, but do require them to obtain a hair braiding registration.

Mississippi requires hair braiders to take a self-guided test and pay a $25 fee to become licensed. South Carolina has similar requirements.

To become a hair braider in South Carolina, you must:

  1. Pay a $25 registration fee. The hair braiding registration will be good for two years.
  2. After paying the fee, you must attend a six hour braiding course approved by the board.
  3. You must also pass a 25 question multiple-choice examination administered by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR).

You will be notified in writing when and where the class is held. The class includes topics on sanitation, safety, OSHA requirements and other items. The class is free.

South Carolina Professional Licensing Defense

If you are a licensed cosmetologist or other licensed professional and you are facing investigation by the Board, it is important that you contact a South Carolina professional licensing defense lawyer today.  A South Carolina professional licensing defense lawyer at the Strom Law Firm will assist you at your hearing in front of the Board.

Losing your cosmetology license or other professional license can be damaging both financially and personally. A professional licensing defense lawyer at the Strom Law Firm will provide aggressive representation to help clear your name. Call us today for a free consultation. 803.252.4800.

About Pete Strom

Defending criminal charges including drug crimes, DUI, CDV, mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, computer crimes, money laundering, and juvenile crimes, Pete also handles Federal and State investigations. Representing individuals in Civil Matters including Class Actions, Personal Injury, Qui Tam Actions, Defective Products, Nursing Home Neglect, and Professional Licensing Defense cases. Joseph Preston “Pete” Strom, Jr., the managing partner at Strom Law Firm, L.L.C., has been fighting for justice since 1984.


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