Sunday, April 22, 2007

Texas Law for Hair Braiders

I've been seriously considering pursuing my locking skills and after much homework, I've found that I can't just take the Sisterlock Consultant class and be on my way to starting a SL clientele, here's the twist......

Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation has created a new certificate for hair braiders and the new certificate was made available on September 1, 2006.

The rules adopted by the Commission require a curriculum of 35 hours of instruction before a certificate will be issued. This includes 11 hours in hair braiding & locking technical skills; 16 hours of instruction in the Health and Safety law and rules; and eight hours of hair analysis and scalp care.

Applicants will not be required to pass a practical or written licensing examination for a braider certificate. However, a certificate will only be granted after a cosmetology school certifies to the TDLR that an applicant has completed the required braider curriculum. The services a hair braider can offer will be limited. Hair extensions can be attached by braiders, but they must be braided in rather than attached with glue or any other chemical. Certificate holders will not be permitted to shampoo, condition or dry hair.

If I want to become a certified braider or locktician and work out of a salon I must complete the following at a local cosmetology school.

At first I thought, this is a shame how the law makers are doing everything in their power to gain profits from our culture. Then, after reviewing the curriculum I figured this may be a good thing. See below:

The required 35-hour hair braider curriculum is:
(A) Hair Braiding – Technical Skills (11 hours):
(i) tools and equipment: types of combs, yarn, thread
(ii) types and patterns of braids: twists, knots, multiple strands, corn rows, hair locking
(iii) artificial hair and materials for extensions
(iv) trimming of artificial hair only as applicable to the braiding process
(v) braid removal and scalp care
(vi) client education: maintenance
(B) Health and Safety/Law and Rules (16 hours):
(i) Texas health and safety law and rules
(ii) bacteriology: sanitation, and disinfection
(iii) viruses, diseases, disorders: transmission, control, recognition
(iv) Texas license requirements – individuals and salons
(v) Texas professional responsibility requirements – individuals and salons
(vi) Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 1602 and1603 (laws)
(vii) 16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 83 (rules)
(C) Hair Analysis and Scalp Care (8 hours):
(i) hair and scalp disorders and diseases: dandruff, alopecia, fungal infections, infestations, infections
(ii) hair structure, composition, texture
(iii) hair growth patterns, styles, textures
(iv) effect of physical treatments on the hair

I would love to become more educated about our hair and I'm seeing an increase in female baldness . This is primarily due to over processing with chemicals as well as over manipulating the hair lines due to braiding and locking too tightly. This is a special of area of interest for me and I'm excited that the class will cover the information.

Now, I'm on a mission to find the right school for me to take the class. So, in Texas, in order to operate as a Certified Sisterlock Consultant in a salon you must "first" become a Certified Hair Braider.

Option 1
Certified Hair Braider Class $600.00
Sisterlock Consultant Class $1395.00
(SL Travel & Hotel) $1000.00
Total $ 2995.00
*Gives me the option to lock and retighten traditional, tool maintained locks and Sisterlocks

Option 2
Certified Hair Braided $600.00
Total $600.00
* Lock and retighten traditional and tool maintained locks. Never to be able to use the Sisterlock name

I believe I know the option I'll take but hummmmm.....what's your opinion, Option 1 or Option 2?


Tra said...

I think it depends on what you are going for. For the type of money that people spend on SL's or locks that are "like" SL's a consultant is more idea because at least one feels that the consultant/trainee will be held accountable for doing a good job and meeting the SL standard. With that said what does being held accountable really look like? The home office cannot make a consultant or a trainee return a clients payment if they are dissatisfied with the service.

Option 2 is definitely financially more attractive. Have you considered talking to any former SL consultant's? Find out there take on it etc.

Whatever you decide I am sure that your future clients will sense your open and honest spirirt immediately!

Goodnapps said...

I've paused long enough from admiring your hair to write this:

Option 1 hands down! Having as many options as possible is playing it smart.$3000 to start a business is a drop in the bucket compared to most business start ups and you'll be writing it off in taxes anyway. Shucks, I'm surprised to see they kept the hair license so cheap. If you're as skilled and professional as I believe you are, you'll make that
money back a thousand times over and then some.

naadii salaam said...


thanks for posting this info. i live in north carolina and currently they don't have any type of license for braiders. to me, this is problematic from a public health standpoint. without education, braiders can damage their clients' hair and scalp. i don't see it as lawmakers trying to benefit from our culture. there's a group that lobbies against these attempts to regulate natural hair styling, but i think that if money making giants like microsoft and apple are regulated and must adhere to laws, then so too should braiders. would you want to get your hair done by someone who didn't know the difference between a simple skin rash and RINGWORM? besides 35 hours of training is nothing! i think that people pay more for your services is they see you as legitimate. working toward some type of certificate will help legitimize the profession of braiding and have it taken more seriously. education is a benefit, not the enemy. as far as economics go, i aborted my sl consultant idea due to the price and the time commitment. i am sure that the training is very thorough, but i think it's more financially beneficial for me to stick to traditional locs and natural hair styling. best of luck to you in your pursuits! your locs look GREAT so i am sure that whatever path you choose, your future clients will be happy with your services.

brunsli said...

No matter what, you'll have to be a certified hair braider, so why not start there?

If you charge $20 an hour, you can recoup the $600 after 30 hours of work (say 40 assuming you'll pay taxes). That's not a huge investment for the education, to be legal in your state, and have something of value to market to your clients.

After you have a chance to see how your business goes as a certified braider, you will probably be in a position to evaluate if you want to make the additional $2400 investment, which would take approximately 120 hours to recoup (or ~150 with taxes).

I would lean towards the two-step approach since many women who take the course to become certified Sisterlocks consultants end up deciding that it's not a cost-effective career compared to other things they could be doing with their working time. With a two-step approach, you will be able to evaluate that for yourself before making the second investment.

Of course, not everything can be dictated by dollars and sense. If being a SL consultant is something you really want to do and enjoy, just go for it!

brunsli said...

Oops, I forgot to mention tips, which would shorten the times slightly. Sorry, law school makes my attention to detail insufferable sometimes.

Renea said...

Actually Creyole, I'm not so certain you have to be a Certified Hair Braider to offer Sisterlocks, in Texas or anywhere else. I wrote an article for the first SL journal and interviewed the director of AHNHA--American Hairbraiders & Haircare Association...Their website has this information about Texas- -While I am sure the intention is to persuade you that you must have a license to offer Sisterlocks, it is not a certainty that you do. If you are not intending to operate from a salon, I am almost certain you do not need a license. I'd recommend you contact AHNHA directly, as I understand that they are working with Dr. Cornwell on exactly this issue.
It may also be the case that you can offer SLs in a salon that has a license, if you do not offer those other services i.e. you do not color, use extensions, etc. that is exactly the exception that would allow you to offer SLs from a home based business without licensing. And you can use the Sisterlocks name in your description of services--the SL method-- but you can't integrate it into the name of your business. You can be Creyole offering sisterlocks, but not Creyole's Sisterlocks.
Hope this rambling message makes sense! I'll look for my notes from my article for SL journal, the published version was different. I can send it to you offline.
My suggestion-- like Brunsli--is to do a two-step. If you don't already know how to braid and don't have an especial interest in a fullon salon opening, start by offering SLs. Your 'home-based business' is not a salon unless you offer services only legally permitted in one. so do not color, wash, cut, extend, or alter the hair in any other way. Hope that helps!

Vee said...

I WISH my state (MASS) offered certified braiding classes!! I would take one in a heart beat. We have nothing of the likes here. In fact the only training we can receive is cosmetology training which exceeds 15g's and you get NO natural hair training whatsoever (even at the one black owned cosmo school in the state) In fact we have NO accredited natural hair anything in this state.
AHNHA needs to make it over here quick because I was just talking to a community activist who told me I should petition the state for a change in law and I'm thinking of getting it going!

I would take the class I'm most interested in FIRST if I were you. You need not be a licensed anything to take the S/L course,or even to become a certified consultant for Sisterlocks. I think as long as you offer the service from your home and don't use products or chemicals then you are set.
I would go for the one I really want to learn first and move on from there.

Good Luck!

brunsli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brunsli said...

Renea may be right that you do not have to take the braider course to do locks, but just to become certified. It's not clear from the website ( if certification is required to do natural hair.

However, the Cornrows & Co. website information about Texas appears is out of date. It was last updated in 2000, so it doesn't have info about the 2006 license you mention.

It's worth a call to the TDLR in Austin to check, unless you want to become certified anyway.


On another note, I find it interesting that the Cornrows & Co. considers licensing requirements to be the "politics of hair!" I must muse and blog about this!

BlaqKofi said...

Wow, what great information. I'm excited to know about this certification requirements - that means that natural hair is becoming more "main stream" rather than a fad. IMHO it's the perfect time to become certified as more and more women of color become familiar with the benefits of natural hair. This is a turning point in our hair history. Despite the cost, I would go for Option 1 and would fully support your efforts. Keep me posted!

Creyole said...

Thanks for all of your comments on this subject everybody. I am finding more and more information, some I like and some I find disturbing.

All points are considered and helping me in my decision.

I'll post on my additional findings for Texas real soon.

muslimahlocs said...

option 3. sisterlocks consultant class and join the fight to get those folks out of our hair.

Cluizel said...

Wow...that hair braiding certificate process...sounds like you would get a lot of good information out of it.

sunsail said...

Wow, this is awesome. I like that in TX, you can get a braider's certificate without all the other mumbo jumbo of perming, relaxing, curling, etc. Personally, I would love it if my consultant were educated in scalp conditions, and how to braid and cut natural hair. From reading your most recent post, it seems as if this class is not optional. Go for it! You can always wrtie it off.

dregagurl said...

I think you should start with option 2 and once you recoup some money, then take the sisterlock class and become certified to expand your business. I think it's important to know about the items that will be covered in the state certificate curriculum. However, I'm surprised that they will not allow you to shampoo clients hair. I can understand other chemical treatments, but not allowing shampoo and conditioning seems extreme.

Creyole said...

Yep, did some checking on the shampoo thing too. They will give you a temp shampoo certificate that is only valid for one year.

Then you would have to take a class to receive a shampoo license.

Chosen Vessel said...


I can't say that I know which one is best for you but I can say that your locks are looking thick, luscious, full, and BEAU-TI-FUL!!!!

Nikkij said...

Well, maybe you'll learn how to consult someone like myself in your classes. I recently decided to lock my 3 1/2 year old. It turned out beautifully (pics on my blog) but failed miserably. After her loc initiation, she started a preschool with a huge sand box. I have not been able to convince her to steer clear of the sand box and, if she decides to play there, do not put/get sand into her hair. I've had my locs long enough to be able to self maintain, so I've been washing and alternating professional maintenance. However, after thoroughly washing her hair (3 times the last time), the grains of sand were too deeply embedded to remove while maintaining the loc. I felt like I had entered into a salt covenant. Even after reluctantly untwisting all of them, I still washed another couple of times just to loosen the rest of the sand. I never got it all out. I noticed your daughter has a toddler friend with locs, and wonder if she'd ever dealt with this. Note, the sand is in the hair everyday. I'm almost thinking of changing schools just for the sake of loc'd hair.

Nicole said...

If you come across any schools in central texas, please post them. I'm considering the same path. I'm thinking about getting started as a braider and getting Sisterlock approved later.

DEA said...


This is valuable information to me. Sisterlocked for 3 years and love them. I am a Sisterlock trainee living in NC. Your blogs have been great in my "continuing education". I want to continue increase my knowledge in natural hair care particularly regarding scalp care, hair loss, etc. Thanks to all of you for sharing.

My advise- first follow your heart and do what you really love! As other have said you can always add the other options later.

Tyese T. said...

Hey there, I am now interested in taking the Braider course. I am in Houston and I can't seem to find any place that offers once. Suggestions?


Anonymous said...

Go to google and type in dallas braiding and styling college. They offer classes for braiding and weaving.

texas cosmetology license said...

Well you can do it online too. I think there are a lot of schools online out there that teaches good braiding and hair styling. You can check out cosmetology ce schools like as they have good videos of those sort of training.

Tonda said...

I have been Loc'd for 5 years and TOTALLY adore it. I think the prices are outrageous though! You must do what you have to do to increase your clientale and income.

Dawn said...

I think to be able to say I do sister locks is over rated, bc after u spend the money for the training you still have to do 3 heads. After I get my braid license I won't be able to say I do sister locks, but I will be able to say I do interlocks

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Jennifer Oniyama said...

Hi where can I take this class ?

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BOSSLADYHAGENS .Hair Braiding License said...

Well its true you have to have braiders license to even do locks twist etc I'm instructor here in Florida and we offer the hair braiding course there are ways to get the license and pay less email me I will share my knowledge be blessed said...

I'm also in Texas...Austin tx and having a hard time finding a place for hair braiding certification. Did you find any? Thank you!

YaYa said...

Thanks so very much for your comments on this issue of licensing.I am going for Sisterlock training in August and it was my understanding that I did not need any other kind of license our permit to practice in Texas. But I thought it would be wise to be certain since I only want to install Sisterlocks. But in the future I would like the option of working in a salon. I think you are correct and I know that Dr. Cromwell has won several landmark cases that allow Sisterlocks practitioners to operate without a cosmetology license of any sort. I hope you are correct!Thanks so much!

YaYa said...

Sunsail. I liked your comment. I hv never been interested in hair as a career but all of a sudden during my research into having Sisterlocks I decided I wanted to become a Sisterlocks Consultant.I also want to learn everything I can about scalp issues and NATURAL hair as possible because so many of us hv issues, myself included. I want to understand how to address these issues for my clients so I can offer the best care possible.I want to know when I need to refer a client to a professional tricologist or whether ir not it's a good idea to install Sisterlocks. I want to approach being a Sisterlocks pracitioner in a holistic manner. I don't want it to begin and end with installing Sisterlocks and just getting paid. I want it too mean something that has depth, healing and substance.