beauty

Shampoo police show ugly side of beauty industry

Hair braider Dara Collier knows her craft. She started practicing twists and weaves as a child, until she mastered each look.

Customers near Atlanta appreciate her advanced skills, but Georgia regulators will not let her do something more basic: shampooing.

Washing clients’ hair outside a state-approved salon without cosmetology credentials is illegal in Georgia. As a self-employed braider, Collier does not need an occupational license to run her business in Georgia.

But that also means she cannot legally cleanse hair — something she would like to do as an extra precaution during COVID-19.

Regulators do not care that shampoo is safe, sold over-the-counter and routinely used at home by children. “It does not make a lot of sense,” Collier says.

Other states impose even stricter licensing rules, treating shampoo like a controlled substance.

A 2017 Institute for Justice analysis showed that 37 jurisdictions specifically mandated licensure for shampoo assistants

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