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The NJ Assembly and the NJ Senate have unanimously approved Bill (A-3754) and (S2510) which would amend and supplement the hairstyling Act of 1984,"P.L. 1984,c205 ( C.45:B-1 et seq) TO EXEMPT PERSONS WHO ENGAGE IN THE PRACTICE OF BRAIDING FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC FROM THE LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS UNDER THAT ACT, AND PROVIDE REGISTRATION AND REGULATION OF OWNERS OF HAIR BRAIDING ESTABLISHMENTS.

According to https://www.njconsumeraffairs gov/cos/Pages/default.aspx
"The New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling board licenses and regulates barbers, beauticians, cosmetology-hairstylists, manicurists, skin care specialists, teachers, shops and schools and registers students who attend these schools.
The purpose of the Board is to:
protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of New Jersey;
regulate the practice of cosmetology-hairstyling; and
ensure that cosmetology-hairstyling is performed in compliance with State law.
The Board protects the public by:
making sure that cosmetologists and hairstylists meet all educational requirements for licensure;
investigating and prosecuting cosmetologists and hairstylists who have broken the state's consumer protection laws; and
requiring all cosmetologists and hairstylists to be licensed by the state and to renew their licenses every two years.
I am a woman of color, a native of America and I am the third generation in my family who is passing along the tradition of hair styling. I learned from my mother, who learned from my great aunt and I am teaching my daughter the art of hairdressing. I went through the program required by the state and I am grateful that I did. I am vexed that there is now pending legislation to create exemptions for people who; like me learned the art of hair styling from their family, except for the fact that I am an American? I am asking that everyone who engages in any form of hairdressing services for the general public still is required to submit to the current licensure requirements.
I say yes, making an investment into understanding exactly what it entails to braid someone's hair is not a family tradition, it is a craft, a vocation and there is more to braiding than just arranging the hair. All hair stylist should want to have and in my opinion, must be required to have the basic knowledge of the following; ethics, interpersonal skills, professionalism, salesmanship, hair and scalp treatments, decontamination and infection control, basic hair cutting and hair styling, management and state laws, rules, and regulations for New Jersey all of which are required through the current State Board of Cosmetology structure.

Professional and consumers are not for is the bill ( A 3754 ) that; " would create a Hair Braiding Establishment Advisory Committee, within the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, and under the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling. The committee would consist of six members who are residents of the state as follows: three members who own or operate a hair braiding establishment in this state, two members who hold practicing licenses issued by the board, and one public member. The members of the committee would be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. Members of the committee would be reimbursed for expenses and provided with office and meeting facilities and personnel required for the proper conduct of committee business."(http://www ArticleID=14442)
We cannot change the requirements that we have for the so-called convenience of a handful of people who in reality would benefit from going through the cosmetology program that has already been established. This bill would take clients and income away from professionals who provide a full professional service including braids. They would be forced to reduce their prices for these services in order to be competitive with the unlicensed braiders who offer services for lower prices because they do not have to comply with the laws and get a license like everyone else who provides personal services to the general public. Under the new law “braiders” would be exempt from being required to have the essential training that they need to have before providing services to the general public.

I had occasion to visit what I hope was a licensed braid shop and found the conditions to be unsanitary, there was hair everywhere on the floor the counters and there was no wet sanitizer for the combs. As a professional cosmetologist, I asked the stylist to wash her hands prior to her touching me and she scoffed. I was not offered a shampoo ( which is supposed to be part of all basic salon services ) I watched them use the same comb on one person after another. I was appalled because these are the things that are taught in school and should be practiced as a routine in all professional salons. Needless to say, I changed my mind and did not get services at that salon. I mentioned my personal experience to simply call out that is the same experience of others. It is my opinion that anyone who is worth his or her salt should seek to have professional training and learn their craft not just from family traditions but from theory and practical training which is provided by state board licensed educators in accordance with the established curriculums approved by the state board of cosmetology. I assure you having been a student and a teacher of cosmetology there will be things that all students will learn during their educational journey that can make them more valuable as stylists.

Please join me and other professionals and members of the general public in asking Governor Phil Murphy to ABSOLUTELY VETO BILLS (A3754) ( S2510).

Rhashonna C. Cosby

Cosmetologist, Cosmetology Educator