In this Wednesday, June 22, 2016 photo, Achan Agit, of Des Moines, Iowa, braids nine-year old Esta James' hair, in Des Moines. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

In this Wednesday, June 22, 2016 photo, Achan Agit, of Des Moines, Iowa, braids nine-year old Esta James’ hair, in Des Moines. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

(PR Newswire)—In any given year, an American taxpayer is more than twice as likely to be audited by the IRS as an African-style hair braider is to receive a complaint of any kind–and genuine consumer complaints are even rarer. That is according to “Barriers to Braiding: How Job-Killing Licensing Laws Tangle Natural Hair Care in Needless Red Tape,” a new report released by the Institute for Justice (IJ). The report finds that braiding is safe, and Pennsylvania’s licensing requirements for braiders do nothing but prevent braiders from working and stifle entrepreneurial opportunity.

African-style hair braiding is a time-tested, natural craft. Yet, Pennsylvania forces braiders to get a government license and take 300 hours of classes before they can legally work. The result is that many entrepreneurs of modest means are simply shut out of the job market.

Pennsylvania’s 300-hour braiding license was created in 2006.

“Licensing laws for hair braiders are just one example of states requiring government permission slips to work,” said Angela C. Erickson, senior research analyst at the Institute for Justice and author of the study. “More Americans than ever now need a license to work, and this is just the latest research to show that the costs of such licensing often outweigh any purported benefits.”

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