Domestic Violence Training for Hairstylists

This article, passed on to me by S, discusses an interesting new programme (though apparently there have been others) that trains hairstylists about domestic violence. The idea is this: women often talk to their hairstylists about matters they won’t discuss with others. This means that hairstylists are sometimes told about domestic abuse. The training programme gives them information about getting help that they can pass on to clients. Sounds like an excellent idea. And very interesting for feminist philosophers: (1) it’s an innovative way of overcoming the silencing involved in women’s hesitancy to discuss domestic violence; (2) it recognises hairdressers as both possessors of important knowledge and potential teachers.

3 thoughts on “Domestic Violence Training for Hairstylists

  1. Another reason is that a hairdresser is often one of the only people who comes physically close enough to detect bruises about the neck and face.

  2. Actually, I would like to respond as a hairstylist. I have been in this business for over 20 years. I could be a millionaire today if I wrote a book about my interraction with my clientele.
    It isn’t about us being able to detect bruises, it is about a trust that a client puts into their hairstylist. I have entire families as clients and the biggest rule is: You never tell others what your clients have said. Even if it is a story that one tells and the next day the other comes in and tells, I simply act as though I have never heard it before.
    I am not sure about domestic training, I do however believe that every stylist should be required to take at least a basic course in psychology. We are privy to information from our clients that they would never dream of telling someone else. But depending on what they are telling you, the way you respond to them could make all the difference. I have had everything from cheating spouses to young girls who are mentally ill and claiming sexual abuse.
    Hairstylists in training: Your relationship with your client is sometimes worth so much more to them than the actual service that you perform. Treasure that…

  3. Glad to hear halfpints response! As a hairstylist for 19 years I too have heard my fair share of personal information. As a salon owner, I have seen first hand what abuse can do to a coworker/employee and sadly to myself. As a trade industry we are typically less educated than many work places. It is our responsiblity to educate ourselves on the resources for our community and be willing to pass that information on. We have an obligation as a community to encourage and lift up the family as a whole. The abuser needs help and support, if willing to seek it. Obviously we have hearts to help the wounded. I encourage every salon owner to post the wheel “the love of power and the power of love” in your restrooms with your local domestic violence phone numer attached. The wheels can be found at Let’s learn about the cycles of abuse and how they range from emotional, control, intimidation, economic, isolation, denying, blaming, using the children as weapons, coercion, threats and physical abuse. Abuse starts long before a bruise is left. If you listen with intent to your clients you will hear when the abuse is subtle. Let’s not wait to see the marks!

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