Texas Hairbraiding Instruction

Brantley v. Kuntz
Should African hairbraiders have to build an entire barber college and become barbering instructors just to teach hairbraiding? Texas officials think so.


Isis Brantley

IJ Client Isis Brantley.

Texas hairbraiding instruction video
Watch IJ's video, "Handcuffed hairbraider sues in federal court for right to teach"


Isis Brantley is a widely recognized expert on African hairbraiding who wants to teach people to braid hair for a living in Dallas.  But even with her decades of experience, Texas is telling Isis she must now convert her modest hairbraiding school into a large barber college, and become a state-licensed barber instructor, before she can teach the next generation of African hairbraiders. 

When the state of Texas began regulating hairbraiders in 2007, it wedged Texas’s hairbraiding license into the state’s barbering statute.  This means that Isis must spend 2,250 hours in barber school, pass four exams, and spend thousands of dollars on tuition and a fully-equipped barber college she doesn’t need, all to teach a 35-hour hairbraiding curriculum.  Tellingly, Texas will waive all these regulations if Isis goes to work for an existing barber school and teaches hairbraiding for them. 

But braiders aren’t barbers, and braiding instructors shouldn’t be forced to build barber schools or take classes from barbers.     

That is why on October 1, 2013, Isis joined with the Institute for Justice to file a federal lawsuit against Texas.  A victory in her case could impact entrepreneurs throughout the state and beyond.


Essential Background


Background on the Texas hairbraiding instruction case

Client Photo

Latest Release: Texas Hair Braiders Win Right to Open Braiding Schools (January 7, 2015)

Client Video

Launch Release: African Hairbraider Takes Texas To Federal Court Over Economic Liberty (October 1, 2013) 

Legal Briefs and Decisions

District Court Ruling (January 5, 2015)

Case Timeline

Filed Lawsuit:


October 1, 2013

Court Filed:

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin.






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Current Court:

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin.

Next Key Date:




Additional Releases

Maps, Charts and Facts

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Op-eds, News Articles and Links

Article: Texas governor expected to sign law deregulating hair braiding ConsumerAffairs.com (June 8, 2015)
Article: Can Texas force hair-braiders to jump through hoops? Nope, says judge. Christian Science Monitor (January 12, 2015)
Article: African braid teacher has excellent hair day after judge's ruling Dallas Morning News (January 8, 2015)

Article: Judge rules Texas laws regulating schools that teach African hair braiding as unconstitutional Associated Press (January 8, 2015)

Article: Texas Tangled In Hair Braiding Controversy NPR (November 6, 2013)

Editorials: Des Moines Register’s Pulitzer Finalist series on licensing

Article: Dallas Hair Braider to Sue Over Regulations The Texas Tribune (October 1, 2013)



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