State legislators have introduced a bill that would mandate that hair stylists, nail technicians and skin-care specialists receive training to help them identify the signs of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
Modeled on a new Illinois law, the measure would encourage beauticians to offer guidance to victimized customers without being invasive.
Lawmakers chose hair- and nail-salon professionals for the program because of their special relationships with customers.
The bill allows the state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence to design an education session, likely consisting of an online course or an in-person presentation by a health expert.
Some stylists said they welcome the training.
Under the proposal, hairdressers, nail-salon workers, skin-care specialists and other beauticians would not be able to renew their state licenses or apply for a new one without the domestic-violence training. To obtain a state cosmetology license, stylists and nail specialists must complete a 1,000-hour course, pass written and practice tests approved by the state and pay $80 in fees.
The proposed legal mandate did not sit well with all stylists, some of whom suggested they should be offered incentives — like lower license and application fees — to take the training.
“Ransoming licensure with a requirement for training in this area is overreach by the government,” said Meredith Chesney, who owns Mousey Brown as well as The Corner Barber. “Legislating additional education requirements outside of the scope of the trade may be well-meaning, but it’s not actually fair or sound legislation.”
1,000 hours of training to dye hair or trim fingernails? Laws like this are intended to stifle competition and keep new entrants from entering a market. Adding another requirement, especially one totally removed from even the pretense of being required to perform the specific job all that "training" is for, is just another barrier.
Next: nutrition courses for garbage men, to identify and counsel homeowners on their diet.