Hairdressers are the keepers of secrets and the salon is a sanctuary for women of all color and creed. Under the expert hands of our stylist, we are given glorious head massages, a rinse out, a cut and a fresh hairstyle.
But going to the salon provides more than just a physical transformation, it can be a place of personal unburdening. It's cheaper than therapy and comes with the benefit of a fresh new look.
Knowing this, state legislation was recently passed in Illinois requiring all licensed hairdressers to receive special training. This certification will give every hairdresser the skills to identify symptoms of domestic and sexual violence in their clients.
The law takes effect on January 1, 2017 and will be the first of it's kind.
Physical signs of abuse can be hard to spot, unless you're a vigilant hairdresser, who is inspecting and touching their clients heads as they work. If they chose to be, stylists could be the first responders of abuse.
The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) is already doing something similar with their Cut It Out campaign. The project encourages salons to mobilize professionals in the fight against domestic abuse by building awareness and training them to recognize the warning signs, and to safely refer clients to local resources.
The new law protects stylists from lawsuits if they report signs of abuse. But it does not require them to report any signs of abuse to police.
Hair stylists in the state are supportive of the law and prepared to begin training. "The majority of us are women, and I think we're all sisters in a way. And we're all out to look out for one another," said Lynn Surr, owner of John Taylor salon in Rock Island, Illinois.
Watch the news report below. Do you think this law should exist in all States? Let us know in the comments below!