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