Gov. Lamont signs new textured hair law

The law requires barber and cosmetology school curriculums to include coiled, curly and wavy hair.

John Craven

Jun 17, 2024, 9:31 PM

Updated 35 days ago

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Finding a hair stylist can be tough if you have natural, ethnic hair. But you could soon have a lot more options – thanks to a new state law that Gov. Ned Lamont signed in Stamford on Monday.
The law requires barber and cosmetology school curriculums to include textured hair – including coiled, curly and wavy hair.
HARD TO FIND A STYLIST
Monday was a big day for Austin Bryant. He graduated from high school, so he had to look his best.
“Graduating 4 p.m. today at Palace Theatre for J.M. Wright [Technical High School] today,” he said.
But finding someone who knows how to style is long, natural hair was a years-long struggle.
“It look a couple of years, because, you know, I've been growing my hair for five years now,” he said.
Finally, Bryant found Zy’Anna Cox, a student at Vanity Salon in Stamford. She said qualified stylists are hard to find because most schools barely teach natural Black hair.
“I’m pretty sure that, in Stamford, we are the only school that offers all ethnic types of hair,” she said. “Well, not ‘offer,’ but really specify on Black hair.”
NEW LAW
That’s about to change.
Lamont came to Vanity Salon to sign new legislation making Connecticut one of the first states in the nation to add textured hair to the required barber and cosmetology school curriculum.
“When someone walks into a salon, they should be able to have the service,” said the bill’s author, state Sen. Pat Billie Miller (D-Stamford). “And I’ve been there – [they] say, ‘We don't do that type of hair.’”
The change won’t happen immediately. The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Connecticut Examining Board for Barbers, Hairdressers and Cosmeticians, will amend the curriculum requirements for barber schools and hairdressing and cosmetology schools. DPH and the Connecticut Office of Higher Education will enforce violations.
Only three other states have passed similar laws, including New York. Lawmakers in New Jersey are considering it. A coalition of beauty industry partners helped craft the legislation, including the Professional Beauty Association and the Texture Education Collective, founded by Aveda, DevaCurl, L'Oreal USA and Aveda Arts & Sciences Institutes’ parent company.
The new law expands on the CROWN Act of 2021, which bans discrimination based on natural hairstyles.
“Every day, we make a little progress to make sure we realize that we live in a state, in a city, in a country where we respect each and every one of our folks,” Lamont said.


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