Recently, Illinois lawmakers passed legislation requiring that hair braiders get specialized training and a license to practice their craft, The Root reported.

The new legislation states veteran braiders with at least two years of experience can get licensed for a fee. Industry newbies, however, would need to have 300 hours of training in braiding and creating intricate styles, the law stipulates.

Before the bill was introduced, braiders had to undergo requirements set for traditional hairstylists and barbers. Those requirements included completing up to 1,500 hours in training and spending $15,000 for licensing after receiving a cosmetology degree.

Some braiding customers feel the law will help set more professional standards and protect patrons from inept braiders who may cause hair damage and health problems, such as headaches (from too-tight braids) and scalp conditions (from improper sanitation and from hair that is ripped away from the scalp).

But others see the new requirements as a way for the state to collect additional revenue because of state budget shortfalls. In addition, some hair braiders view the law as unfair to those who learned the craft at home and acquired expertise via experience.

Read RH’s “Damage Control” to learn how to avoid harmful styling techniques that could hurt hair health.