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New barbers, hairdressers in CT will get more training for textured hair

Sisters Shelly Smith, left, Glynnis Smith, center, and Allecia Smith braid hair for customers at their salon.
Charlie Riedel
A sales associate at Mid-K Beauty, helps a customer to select a wig in Portland, Ore.

Connecticut cosmetology students will now be required to learn how to service textured hair thanks to a law signed by Governor Ned Lamont.

Textured hair is defined as coiled, curly, or wavy — and it needs different treatment than straight hair.

Connecticut is the third state in the U.S. to pass the law. Minnesota and New York were the first two.

Lamont said he signed it to make Connecticut more inclusive for residents of color who may struggle to find a salon that knows how to do their hair.

“This is a battle that never ends, and we keep fighting it every day,” Lamont said. “And this is just one more small way that we're able to fight this battle and treat everybody the respect they need, starting with how they look and how their hair is treated.”

The legislation was championed by State Senator Patricia Billie Miller.

“When someone walks into a salon, they should be able to have the service and not hear — and I've been there — 'We don't do that type of hair,'” Miller said.

“I've been told the only thing you need to do is get different mannequins and just add those and just learn how to cut, let's say, textured hair. As an African American, I should be able to go into a salon and get my hair cut.”

The law will take effect on July 1.

Connecticut passed the Crown Act in 2021 — that bans discrimination against natural hair in the workplace.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.