A first-of-its-kind law will provide hair salon employees throughout the state with training in order to be able to identify signs of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
The law, signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner in August, is set to take effect Jan. 1. House Bill 4264 amends the Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding and Nail Technology Act of 1985. Stylists will take a one hour class every two years when they get their license renewed, to help them recognize the signs of domestic violence.
The new law does not make hairdressers or cosmetologists submit mandated reports. Rather, it seeks to provide resources and tools to those in the field to pass along to their clients if and when they’re needed.
Those in support of the bill have said that hair salons act as a neutral party for their clients, and customers often feel comfortable sharing personal information they might not otherwise disclose to friends or family.
The Professional Beauty Association operates an abuse awareness campaign of their own called Cut It Out. It makes sense considering stylists often become accidental confidantes for their clients, often feeling comfortable in revealing details about their lives while sitting in the chair.