Connecticut Governor signs inclusive hair education law for cosmetology licensing

By Cassandra Stern

- Last updated on GMT

"This new law keeps Connecticut at the forefront of fostering a more inclusive beauty industry by ensuring hair stylists are trained to care for coiled, curly, and wavy hair," Senator Patricia Billie Miller, chair of the legislature's Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, said in the press announcement.© Kobus Louw Getty Images
"This new law keeps Connecticut at the forefront of fostering a more inclusive beauty industry by ensuring hair stylists are trained to care for coiled, curly, and wavy hair," Senator Patricia Billie Miller, chair of the legislature's Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, said in the press announcement.© Kobus Louw Getty Images

Related tags textured hair inclusive beauty Hair care

Connecticut's new law mandating inclusive hair education for cosmetology licensing, now in effect, marks a major milestone in fostering diversity in the beauty industry.

Connecticut's recent enactment of a law mandating inclusive hair education for cosmetology licensing is a significant step towards promoting diversity and inclusivity in the beauty industry. This legislation, signed into law by Governor Ned Lamont and which is now in effect, requires all cosmetology schools in the state to provide comprehensive training on various hair types and textures, with a specific emphasis on textured hair.

The implications of this initiative for cosmetics and personal care product manufacturers and suppliers are substantial, as it presents both opportunities and challenges in meeting the needs of a more inclusive market.

The new law

The legislation, introduced by State Representative Robyn Porter, was driven by the growing recognition of the need for professional training in the care and styling of textured hair, which has often been overlooked in traditional cosmetology programs. As reported in a recent press announcement, "the legislation was sponsored by Connecticut State Senator Patricia Billie Miller and the Professional Beauty Association​ (PBA) in conjunction with the Texture Education Collective​ (TEC), founded by Aveda, DevaCurl, L'Oreal USA, and Neill Corporation, owner of Aveda Arts & Sciences Institutes." It follows a similar mandate passed in Louisiana in November 2021 and New York in November 2023.

This law is a response to a long-standing gap in cosmetology education that has left many professionals inadequately prepared to serve a diverse clientele, and "this new law keeps Connecticut at the forefront of fostering a more inclusive beauty industry by ensuring hair stylists are trained to care for coiled, curly, and wavy hair," Senator Patricia Billie Miller, chair of the legislature's Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, said in the press announcement. This comprehensive approach is expected to equip cosmetologists better to meet the needs of all clients, regardless of hair type.

This legislative change heralds a new era of opportunity and responsibility for cosmetics and personal care product manufacturers and suppliers. Companies will need to ensure that their product lines and marketing strategies reflect this inclusive approach. As cosmetology schools expand curricula, there will be a growing demand for products designed explicitly for textured hair. Manufacturers that have yet to invest in this segment will need to develop or expand their offerings to include shampoos, conditioners, styling gels, and other products tailored for curly, coily, and wavy hair.

Potential industry impact

The shift towards inclusive hair education presents a significant opportunity for manufacturers and cosmetology schools to collaborate. With 65% of people in the U.S. having textured hair, the importance of equipping stylists with the skills for comprehensive texture care services is underscored. Manufacturers and suppliers can play a crucial role in this by providing educational materials, sample products, and training sessions. Such partnerships could foster brand loyalty among new cosmetologists and position manufacturers as leaders in the movement towards inclusive beauty standards.

In addition to product development, companies will need to reassess their marketing strategies in response to legislation enforcing beauty inclusivity. The growing emphasis on textured hair care education means that marketing campaigns should reflect the diversity of hair types and the inclusive ethos that the new law embodies. Companies that authentically embrace this change and communicate their commitment to diversity will likely resonate more strongly with cosmetologists and end consumers.

Furthermore, this legislative change may set a precedent for other states to follow, potentially leading to a broader nationwide impact. As noted in the press release, the new law in Connecticut "sets a powerful precedent for the rest of the country, fostering safer and more inclusive environments in salons across the state," Myra Reddy, Government Affairs Director, Professional Beauty Association, said.

As more states recognize the importance of inclusive hair education, the demand for products catering to diverse hair types will continue to grow. Personal care product manufacturers that anticipate this trend and adapt accordingly will be well-positioned to capitalize on this expanding market. By embracing this shift, manufacturers can drive business growth and contribute to a more equitable beauty industry. As the press release aptly stated, "the world is increasingly diverse, making it crucial for the beauty industry to adapt and meet the needs of all clients."

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