MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Local 24 News is talking hair, natural hair that to be exact. In 2013, the state of Tennessee passed a bill allowing free standing schools for natural hair care. Local 24 News reporter Brittani Moncrease takes a look at how that bill has helped others eight years later.
Braids, locs, twists, it's natural hair, meaning no chemicals. Those who need that hair care are finding more options in the state of Tennessee. All isn't lost in dream land.
“For me to be a refugee coming to this country and now standing on Germantown Parkway in front of my own salon," said Angelina Liom, Love is in the Hair CEO. “I’m literally living out my dreams.”
Love is in the Hair is a salon specializing in natural hair.
“It’s great to see Black women embrace their hair and try out tons of different styles,” said Liom.
The road to get here, started back in 2013. That's when Tennessee State Representative Antonio Parkinson successfully passed a bill allowing free standing schools for natural hair.
“These schools are filling that demand, but they could not fill that demand prior to because in order to get a license in natural hair or a license in manicuring or esthetics, you’d have to go to a full cosmetology school,” said Rep. Parkinson. “We were able to break it up to where you’re able to open up specialized schools.”
Fast forward to 2016, Tamika Turner opened the Institute of Beauty. It's Bartlett's first natural hair licensing school.
“Since opening in 2016, we have graduated over 400 students which is unheard of in the beauty industry,” said Turner.
Liom was one of the first graduates finishing the curriculum and an apprenticeship at A Natural Affair salon.
“Our tuition is a fraction of the cost that it takes to go to full cosmetology school,” said Turner.
Plus, students are getting the focus on what is often ignored.
“Majority of the things you learn in cosmetology school, doesn’t necessarily cater to Black women at all,” said Liom.
From the teacher to the student, who is now a salon owner, the bill has shown progress.
“The bill did exactly what it said it would do,” said Turner.
“It honestly warms my soul,” said Rep. Parkinson.
April is officially known as Beauty, Barber, and Health Month.
“I’m excited about that because it makes me feel good that the capitol is showing appreciation to the beauties and barbers of our industry,” said Turner.
Liom's salon will open in mid-May.