Ali Meyer of the Washington Free Beacon highlights a new report detailing the negative consequences tied to overly stringent occupational licensing.

Occupational licensing laws kill jobs and shut entrepreneurs with modest means out of the job market due to costly requirements, according to a report from the Institute for Justice.

The report, which focuses on hair braiding, evaluates whether the act of braiding hair poses any risks that would justify requiring an occupational license and whether these licenses create barriers that keep people out of work.

Currently, there are 16 states in the United States that require hair braiders to get a cosmetology license, which involves spending between 1,000 and 2,100 hours in training and thousands of dollars on tuition. In these classes, students have to learn how to use chemical treatments and how to cut hair, tasks that have nothing to do with braiding hair.

Additionally, 14 states, along with the District of Columbia, require hair braiders to acquire a specialized license. In Mississippi and Iowa, hair braiders have to register with the state. Specialty licenses require 600 hours of classes and can cost thousands of dollars.

While proponents of occupational licensing say it protects consumers’ health and safety from unskilled practitioners, the report finds that there is little evidence that this holds true.

“Often learned in childhood and honed over the years of practice, braiding is time tested and all natural,” the report states. “In fact, it is typically categorized as ‘natural hair care’ because it involves no cutting, dyeing, application of heat or use of caustic chemicals.”

In seven years, there were only 130 complaints from nine states and the District of Columbia and most of the complaints had nothing to do with health or safety, but were comments regarding whether or not the hair braider was licensed, according to the report.