Portland– The Urban League of Portland today welcomed the unanimous 60-0 vote in the Oregon House of Representatives to pass HB3409A on Natural Hair Care. The legislation, which now goes on to the Senate, will create a special limited license for the practice of natural hair care, which includes brushing, combing, braiding, twisting, plaiting and locking of hair, which is a traditional practice in the African immigrant and native-born African American community.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Alyssa Keny-Guyer was initiated by Amber Starks, a natural hair care practitioner who wanted to be able to move her Vancouver-based practice to Oregon, and to volunteer her services to African American children in the Oregon foster care system. Currently, all hair stylists need a full cosmetology license, requiring over 1700 hours of costly study.
The Urban League of Portland has been a major supporter and contributor to the passage of HB3409A in the Legislature. Speaking on behalf of the Urban League of Portland, Ty Schwoeffermann, Health Equity Coordinator, on the Natural Hair Care Bill said:
“We are delighted that our Natural Hair Care Bill passed with such strong bi-partisan support. We will work with all impacted stakeholders to ensure that this bill is meaningful and effective. HB 3409A will help remove barriers to the growing natural hair care industry, paving the way for more jobs and increased opportunities for African immigrant and African American businesses. “