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Hairstylists, barbers required to know signs of domestic violence

Starting January 1, 2022, a new law will require licensed Tennessee cosmetologists and barbers to take an anti-domestic violence training course.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — To help save the lives of domestic violence victims, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance and the state Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners launched an initiative created to train Tennessee’s over 50,000 licensed beauty professionals to recognize the signs of abuse, how to respond appropriately and what resources are available to assist domestic violence victims. 

Starting January 1, 2022, a new law will require licensed Tennessee cosmetologists and barbers to take an anti-domestic violence training course. Since hairstylists and barbers have unique relationships with their clients and are the first and sometimes only people trusted with secrets, the free 20-minute online training session will teach cosmetology professionals how to provide support and recognize signs of abuse beyond physical marks.

The global pandemic of COVID-19 has exposed the hidden pandemic of domestic violence, and advocates of the new law say the beauty industry professionals are in a unique position to combat both of these public health emergencies. 

Susanne Post, a domestic violence survivor, and hairstylist in Nashville worked with the YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee to create the Shear Haven Domestic Violence Training. 

"This training gives us the tools not only on how not to respond but how to respond. And while it's typical to be the counselor or the therapist, there's time we need to encourage someone to address it with a professional," Post said.

This Shear Haven training video equips stylists with:

  • Knowledge and resources to recognize the signs of domestic violence
  • Guidance on how to successfully navigate conversations with clients who may be in danger
  • Tools and resources that can help your client get to safety

If you already have a license, you will have until 2024 to complete the training. Students and instructors in cosmetology schools will need to complete the training before receiving their license. According to the bill, completing the training does not make it mandatory to get involved or report any abuse.