OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A two-year battle has finally come to an end for an Oklahoma City-based eyebrow threader.
Eyebrow threading is a technique that has grown in popularity in the United States over the last decade.
“It’s a technique that we learn from India, from Nepal, from Pakistan,” said threader Shazia Ittiq. “So this is not a technique that western countries know.”
Shazia Ittiq has been perfecting her trade for more than 30 years, but was facing closure following a decision by the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology.
The board required all threaders to hold an esthetician license.
Although Ittiq has one, she said not all of her employees did.
“Before 2013, I don’t think it was a rule but when threading salons and threading boutiques started opening up, they started telling us that we need licenses, estheticians or cosmetologists to do the job,” Ittiq said.
Ittiq told KFOR in 2021 that the licensing coursework didn’t include threading, so it wouldn’t actually benefit threaders.
However, her employees would have to pay thousands of dollars for a license they wouldn’t actually use.
Ittiq teamed up with the Institute of Justice to challenge the rule, saying it was unreasonable government interference.
After Ittiq filed the lawsuit against the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology, the board created a specialty license for threaders.
Officials say it is less costly and only requires them to study things related to their work.
“It never made logical sense to force Shazia’s and Seema’s employees, or any other threader, to spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn things that they won’t use,” said IJ Attorney Marie Miller. “We’re very happy that both Shazia and Seema can run their businesses without requiring their employees to spend money learning skills they don’t need.”
Ittiq says her employee was able to obtain the new threading license