Bipartisan Work in New Jersey Breaking Barriers for Hair-braiders

For 17 years, one New Jersey woman has been petitioning her state government to seek relief from occupational licensing requirements for braiding hair. With the help of Americans for Prosperity – New Jersey, hair-braiders like her are finally seeing progress.

Americans for Prosperity State Director Erica Jedynak, in partnership with the Institute for Justice, has been building relationships across party lines. Jedynak worked with Democratic co-sponsors to pass a senate bill that would exempt hair-braiders from burdensome licensing requirements. The bill received unanimous support in committee and is expected to pass both chambers this month.

Many of the affected hair-braiders are immigrants from West Africa who have little formal education and struggle with literacy. Spending thousands to attend cosmetology school, where in many cases they don’t even teach hair-braiding, for a license is not an option. Now, thanks to these bipartisan efforts, these female entrepreneurs may soon find it easier to open and run their own hair-braiding shops.

Read more about the hair-braiding fight in New Jersey in this op-ed, co-authored by Jedynak.