I had the pleasure of seeing Isis at work first hand at a natural hair event, and I knew her story and how much she has been working for years to reverse ridiculous Texas laws that govern hair braiding. Isis Brantley is pretty good at what she does, and very passionate as well, so passionate that she has made it her life’s mission to teach her skill to people who can use braiding to become entrepreneurs.
A federal judge in Texas recently ruled that the laws that govern how hair braiding stylists teach their students were considered unconstitutional. The ruling was as a result of a lawsuit which Isis Brantley filed against the state of Texas with the help of the Institute For Justice two years ago.
Brantley argued that she was forced to take classes and exams that she deemed unnecessary in order to receive a state-mandated license in order to teach hair braiding.The problem with that mandate was that curriculum was geared towards barbers which was ridiculous because she was certainly was not a barber.
It gets worse: the Texas law wanted her to turn her very successful hair braiding business into a barber college with 10 student workstations, plus install sinks behind every two work stations. This is a hair braiding salon so there would be no need for extensive plumbing or sinks of any sort since you pretty much come there with clean hair.
According to The Root,
Brantley had to spend 2,250 hours in barber school, pass four exams, and spend thousands of dollars on tuition.
Thank goodness someone in the U.S District attorney’s office had some sense and said that:
the state regulations the excluded Brantley from receiving a certification in hair-braiding were unconstitutional and “absent ‘a rational connection with fitness or capacity to engage in’ hair braiding instruction.”
In a statement, Brantley had this to say:
“I fought for my economic liberty because I believe there is a lot of hope for young people who seek to earn an honest living. This decision means that I will now be able to teach the next generation of African hair braiders at my own school.”
See more about Isis’s story in this video below: