Category Archives: Things of the Spirit

Kent hair braider defeats WA Dept. of Licensing

In the current political climate where government agencies shut down small businesses for irrational reasons, an African hair braider’s victory in Kent last year is a small but welcome blessing.

The mission of the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) is to advance public safety and consumer protection.  So how did this agency get tangled up in a federal lawsuit about hair braiding?

In June 2014, hair braider Salamata “Sally” Sylla filed a federal lawsuit against the Washington DOL, because the agency had ordered her to either get a cosmetology license, or shut down her business.  Sylla was represented in her lawsuit by the Institute for Justice.

Sylla sought a judicial order requiring the department to adhere to its own stated policy that African, or natural, hair braiding does not require a cosmetology license. Continue reading Kent hair braider defeats WA Dept. of Licensing