NPR logo

Episode 381: Why It's Illegal To Braid Hair Without A License

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/155596305/155607817" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Episode 381: Why It's Illegal To Braid Hair Without A License

Trade

Episode 381: Why It's Illegal To Braid Hair Without A License

Episode 381: Why It's Illegal To Braid Hair Without A License

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/155596305/155607817" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jestina Clayton, would-be braider. Jim Urquhart/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Jim Urquhart/AP

A few years ago, Jestina Clayton started a hair braiding business in her home in Centerville, Utah. The business let her stay home with her kids, and in good months, she made enough to pay for groceries. She even put an ad on a local website. Then one day she got an email from a stranger who had seen the ad.

"It is illegal in the state of Utah to do any form of extensions without a valid cosmetology license," the e-mail read. "Please delete your ad, or you will be reported."

To get a license, Jestina would have to spend more than a year in cosmetology school. Tuition would cost $16,000 dollars or more.

On today's show: Why it's illegal to braid hair without a license in Utah. And why that rule — and hundreds of others like it in states all around the country — are a disaster for the U.S. economy.

For More: See our story in the New York Times Magazine, So You Think You Can Be A Hair Braider?

Article continues after sponsorship

Music: No's "Another Life." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify/ Tumblr.