May 22, 2017
By Stephanie Lewis
Are Hairstylists the new therapists? For decades, women have used the salon as a form of social interaction. They often develop close bonds with the men and women who cut, color, and style their hair. 26 million people visit hair salons each week. Men and women alike share intimate and personal details with their hairstylist for a number of potential psychological reasons. According to a study, 84% of people surveyed trust their hairdresser’s advice over their therapist’s. This may be why a Chicago legislation went into effect this past January that requires salon professionals to be trained in domestic-abuse prevention as a way to tackle the rise in domestic violence in the region. Although both men and women suffer from domestic violence, 1 in 3 women are victims of violence by their partners. As a means to combat these statistics, the city of Chicago wrote this legislation to train salon professionals on the signs of domestic violence: sprains, injuries, makeup covering bruises, limited/restricted money, etc.
Recently, an advertisement by a Bengali domestic hotline went viral after featuring a women who insists that her hairdresser cut her hair shorter and shorter so that “no one can hold it like this again” as she grips her hair and tears roll from her eyes. The video, featured below, highlights the real effects that domestic violence can pose in someone’s life.
With mandated training, hairdresser should be able to spot the signs of domestic violence—something as small as wanting to chop off one’s hair or as big as a bruise over the eye.
*Please note that Bruin Consent Coalition does not advocate for the use of hairdressers as therapists. They have limited professional training. If you need to report domestic violence, please contact one of the following resources:
LOS ANGELES BASED AGENCIES
Campus Assault Resource Education (CARE at UCLA): (424)-259-7208 *press 3
National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-7233; www.thehotline.org
Los Angeles County Violence Hotline: (800) 978-3600
SHELTER BASED AGENCIES FUNDED IN CITY OF LOS ANGELES
1736 Family Crisis Center: www.1736familycrisiscenter.org (213) 745-6434
Angel Step Inn: www.angelstepinn.org (323) 780-3457
Center for the Pacific Asian Family: www.nurturingchange.org (800) 339-3940
Chicana Service Action Center: (800) 548-2722
*Bruin Consent Coalition cannot guarantee the quality of these resources