By Sophia Morris SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — For many, going to the hair salon means it’s the time to sit back, relax and have someone pay attention to your every need. But for some, it can mean so much more than just a trim.
For the past four years, hair stylist Ashlee Brown has heard countless intimate stories from her clients at Joseph Anthony and Co. In cosmetology school she was taught to be compassionate, yet professional when confronted with the reality of her clients personal lives. However, “over time, you really get to know the person and that professionalism is still there, but the boundaries start to fade away because we both become comfortable with each other. My clients are just like me,” said Brown.
A new Illinois state law went into effect this past January that now requires salon workers to take one hour of training every two years to recognize the signs of abuse and assault and will provide them with a list of resources to which they can refer clients for help. This law was meant to recognize the unique relationship between hairdressers and their customers that may help curb domestic abuse and sexual assault.
Although New York State does not yet have this similar law in place, many feel as though it could help stylists not only notice the signs, but help them properly handle these often uncomfortable experiences with clients.
“That’s where I feel like this class would be a beneficial part of becoming a stylist because I wouldn’t really know what to tell somebody. I wouldn’t even want to take the chance of telling someone the wrong thing. I would definitely tell stylists to be as sympathetic as they can be, but not make too many recommendations without proper knowledge,” said the Owner of Joseph Anthony and Co., Rebecca Snyder.
Stylist Danyelle Campbell has had a few situations of her own where clients have revealed personal information that put Campbell in a tough position. “I had no idea what to do or even say. This girl came to me and she was crying and I didn’t really know what to do. I just comforted her and asked her if she needed anything,” said Campbell.
Although it is still unsure on whether New York will adapt this similar law for hair stylists, there is a consensus, at least at Joseph Anthony and Co. that it would be beneficial for to continuation of these delicate stylist-client relationships.