JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A national cosmetology organization says it supports less-stringent requirements for hair braiders.

Professional Beauty Association lobbyist Bridget Sharpe says it’s not fair to force hair braiders to get a full cosmetology license. She says the organization backs registration or certification instead.

Sharpe spoke Friday during a Missouri-based Women’s Foundation announcement on research and proposed policy changes to reduce barriers to female business owners.

According to the Institute for Justice, a libertarian law firm, Missouri is among 13 states that require hair braiders to obtain some form of cosmetology license. Licenses can cost thousands of dollars and require hours of training.

Sharpe says some programs don’t even teach hair braiding.

Hair braiders pushing for less-strict requirements have met pushback from some cosmetologists who say regulations are needed to ensure hygiene in braiding shops.

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