GMU Study: Hair braiding deregulation helps owner-operated beauty salons

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - Deregulating the hair braiding industry in Virginia has led to more jobs, according to a new study by George Mason University.

A study says beauty salons are on the rise, thanks to the deregulation of the hair braiding business.

At Melrose Hair and Beauty Supplies, a lot of their business comes from referrals from salons.

"We sell a lot of different kind of hairs, braiding hair, crocheted hair," said employee Unhum Perry.

The uptick of beauty salons is news the employees at Melrose Hair and Beauty Supplies like to hear.
"Because they send the customer to here, a lot of them," Perry said.

In 2012, Virginia removed licensing requirements for people who braid hair in salons.
According to the study, the number of beauty shops in Virginia counties grew by 7-percent more than the number in neighboring counties in bordering states.
The study says the deregulation helps smaller owner-operated beauty salons because they no longer have to worry about expensive licenses to braid hair.

"It's giving people more of an opportunity to shine," said Maya Simmons.

She hopes the results of the study mean more locally owned shops in more rural areas.
"Me personally being from Pulaski, we would have to come all the way to Roanoke to be able to come to a hair store to get braiding and stuff like that done, at least good quality braiding."

People who believe in hair braiding regulation say it improves the quality of services delivered to customers.

Currently, 27 states require aspiring hair braiders to have some type of license.

Click to read the full study.