Why It’s Illegal To Braid Hair Without A License

The cost of regulation from NPR

A few years ago, Jestina Clayton started a hair braiding business in her home in Centerville, Utah. The business let her stay home with her kids, and in good months, she made enough to pay for groceries. She even put an ad on a local website. Then one day she got an email from a stranger who had seen the ad.

It is illegal in the state of Utah to do any form of extensions without a valid cosmetology license,” the e-mail read. Please delete your ad, or you will be reported.”

Ofcourse this looks absurd because it’s about braiding. But let’s zoom out and think about all regulations. There are always two sides. The regulation of helping a individual and a loss for the collective if the balance is not right.

By not able to braid there is a loss to the hairdresser, to the children and parents who can’t get it done and the city which loses on new income and taxes from a new business.

All regulation is not always good. In Australia I see a sense of more expectations from the government which means more spending and more regulation. Both are not good in the long term especially if we have not thought about all the sides of the equation and the effect it has in the long term.

The regulation of child safety has created a new business of child protection to stop child abuse. All good till you find that brothers and sisters are separated, 9 month old kids are taken care in hotel rooms with 10 different carers over weeks. Children in residential care of the state become drug addicts or prostitutes. On a less distressing scale, they have bad education, bad health, no family and friends when they are out of care.

As a society we need to support the idea of helping children from abuse. But what is the other side of the equation. We cant assume that the government can take care of all the children they take into their care or better than parents.

More government and more regulation is not always the solution.


Previous post
The Long Nose of Innovation The Idea.org blog explaining the work of Bill Buxton. Innovation takes years, if not decades. An essay by Bill Buxton, principal scientist
Next post
Heterogamy Strategy for Innovation Steven Johnson writing in Where good ideas come from: The water flea Daphnia lives in most freshwater ponds and swamps. Its spasmodic movements in