Hair braiders lose appeal of Missouri licensing requirements

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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Hair braiders in Missouri have lost an appeal over a state requirement that they must be licensed like barbers and cosmetologists.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday affirmed a lower court ruling in St. Louis that upheld the Missouri law.

The state requires 1,000 hours of training for barbers and 1,500 hours for hairdressing, and a licensing exam.

The Kansas City Star reports that two hair braiders who challenged the law argued that their work is different than barbering or cosmetology, and the training courses often don't include hair braiding.

Missouri officials contend the requirement protects consumers from possible health risks such as hair loss or scalp infections.

The appeals court ruled that the definition of hair braiding falls within the state law's definitions for barbering and cosmetology.

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