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Isis Brantley

Source: Djuana “DFitz” Lewis / Djuana “DFitz” Lewis

By Rashad Phillips

Photography By Djuana “DFitz” Lewis

For the past thirty years, Isis Brantley, a natural hair stylist, educator, and founder of Sisters of Isis natural hair product line, has been a pioneer for The Natural Hair Movement. In 1997, Brantley was arrested for braiding hair without a license. On the day of her arrest, she was in her salon braiding a local news reporter’s hair. Two undercover officers came into the salon and asked Brantley if she could braid their hair. After Brantley showed the undercover officers pictures of my work, one officer said “Isis you are under arrest for braiding hair. Brantley thought the officers were joking with her. The officer said, “No, I’m not kidding. You do my sister’s hair and my cousin’s hair, but you cannot braid hair in this salon anymore. Now, I have to take you to jail.” At the time of her arrest, no Texas law required hair braiders to hold a license.

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