Isis Brantley gets one step closer to redemption with the deregulation of Texas Licensing Regulation for Hair Braiding. Brantley owns the Institute of Ancestral Braiding in Dallas and has taught the art of hair braiding for 20 years, but not without plenty of opposition from the State of Texas. In fact, in 1997 Brantley was arrested by seven police officers for braiding without licensure. Brantley begun her legal pursuit against the state and in 2007 was awarded the ability to legally braid hair. She, however, received even more resistance when she decided to teach her craft. In 2013, she sued the State of Texas for unreasonable requirements. “In the case of Brantley, she had to first convert her small business into a barber school that had at least 10 student chairs that reclined back and a sink behind every work station before being allowed to teach hair braiding,” as reported by Black Enterprise

In January 2015, Brantley was awarded and allowed to teach ancestral braiding. The judge ruled that requirements were “unreasonable and irrational.” In April 2015, Brantley has taken it even further and is in swift pursuit of full deregulation for hair braiding to give to all women who desire to braid for a living the right to do so without the strict erroneous hurdles that have been imposed for years. In her strong argument she says, “I need the government to get out of the way so that I can teach the next generation of hair braiders and earn an honest living.”

Although progress has been made of her efforts, when asked about her feeling of accomplishment she says, “I am not quite accomplished. I am not free until we are all free. We are awaiting the verdict when the session ends at the end of May. We are certainly looking forward to a victorious outcome. I am never over zealous about the fight for economic justice and cultural identity. We will always have more to stand up for and more to do as it relates to our identity and most especially out hair-ratage. Our ancestors paved the way for us. We must continue to protect and uphold our cultural legacy.”

Come May, the decisions will be made on how to proceed with the deregulation of hair braiding and teaching within the State of Texas. Interested parties are eager to know how this will affect the future of the hair industry as a whole.

Do you agree with full deregulation for hair braiders?