NPR logo

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

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/356428708/356469469" 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/356428708/356469469" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Save this episode (beta): Listen to this Later on Stitcher

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

toggle caption Jim Urquhart/AP

Note: Today's show is a rerun. It originally ran in June 2012.

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 was illegal to braid hair without a license in Utah. And why hundreds of licensing rules 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?

Music: No's "Another Life." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify/ Tumblr. Download the Planet Money iPhone App.

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.