In reviewing the natural hair practical examination I see that the bonded method has been omitted. I do not see however, where any testing of Afro maintenance and styles or loc styles, proper sizing and maintenance have been added. Again, this is not about modifying House Bill 291.
What has been the discussion amongst the committee? Does the Board feel that these areas are not relevant to natural hair care? If so, that is a grave mistake and a conscience oversight by the Board. It is obvious that the Board’s reliance on other sources of information yields a misunderstanding of the actual core components (concerning natural hair care) verses the assumed core components of natural hair care. It is quite possible that the NIC also assumes, like the NC Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners, that natural hair care only consists of extensions (of any and all kinds); a grave oversight for both parties indeed. Natural hair care encompasses a gamut of styles and techniques and those core techniques need to be tested upon, as many African Americans are returning to their natural roots, without the use of chemicals, excessive heat, or abrasive extensions. As I stated earlier, many are looking for green hair alternatives (natural hair care) without the use of chemicals, heat, or extensions, please understand that.
I find it amazing, yet tragic, that no one with a natural hair background or a desire to learn more about natural hair sits on a board or acts in an official (appointed) advisory capacity to assist or consult with the Board in sanctioning, understanding, or governing natural hair care. This is an important issue that I will discuss with the Representatives and sponsors of House Bill 291 and really get involved in the political process from this point forward. It is imperative that someone understands the relevance, supports, and speaks up for natural hair practitioners in NC. Again, we are asked to comply, but we do not have a voice, a union, or any support. Rules are made on our behalf without our input. Just seeing the influx of clients, both young and old, coming to my salon with broken hair, weak locs, thin Afro hair, damaged edges and hairlines, and concerned with their 4-year old’s virgin hair, I can tell you that proper Afro/loc evolution, maintenance, and care are a high priority among loc/Afro wearers. There is a gamut of natural hair care and loc discussion that has not been included in the practical testing material. I can only assume that it will be up to those who are really concerned with the proper starting of and maintenance of loc/Afro hair to pass on the good word and education. We cannot assume that the Board has the same concern or intention.