Illinois salon workers will be trained to recognise signs of abuse in their clients

It's a new law.

By Jessica Chandra

The relationships we have with the people who maintain our appearances – our hairdressers, our waxers, eyebrow tattooists, you name it – are pretty intimate, thanks to the hours we spend with them as they try to make us the best-looking versions of ourselves.

So it makes sense that Illinois is introducing a law in 2017 that will require salon workers to go through mandatory training on how to recognise signs of domestic violence and abuse in their clients.

Salon workers including hairdressers, barbers, cosmetologists, aestheticians, hair braiders and nail technicians will have to undertake an hour-long course that will teach them how to not only recognise signs, but also how to address them. They won’t be required to report anything, but they will be better equipped on how to handle sensitive conversations and situations.

The measure was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner, and Illinois state Rep. Fran Hurley told the Chicago Tribune, “There’s an openness, a freeness, a relationship that last years or decades between the client and the cosmetologist. They’re in a position to see something that may or may not be right.”

While it sounds like a great initiative, not all salon workers are on board as it means much more responsibility. Analie Papageorge, a salon owner from Evanston, said, “You could make or break somebody’s family. It’s heavy on the heart.”