House votes to trim licensing for hair braiding
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The Utah House voted Wednesday to clip away requirements that only licensed beauticians may charge to braid hair.

It voted 69-0 to pass HB238, and sent it to the Senate. It would untangle a years-long licensing battle between beauticians and people who just braid hair. In past years, it brought overflow crowds to long hearings on the issue.

The state recently decided to allow only those with cosmetology licenses —¬†which requires 2,000 hours of training — to charge for hair braiding. That led to a federal lawsuit, which the state lost last year.

Besides helping hair braiders, HB238 also gives some help to beauticians.

It reduces the hours of training required for them to receive a license from 2,000 to 1,600. It also makes it easier to obtain a Utah license for beauticians who move here from states where fewer hours of training are required, by counting their salon work toward the total hours needed for a Utah license.

The bill also clarifies that people such as department store employees who put samples of makeup on customers do not need to be licensed beauticians.

"Maybe it seems like a simple bill. It has not been," said Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, sponsor of the bill, who noted that forming the final compromise took more than a year.