Beginning July 1, 2019, the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology will provide sexual and physical abuse awareness training as a part of its licensing programs for barbers, cosmetologists, estheticians, manicurists, and electrologists. This follows the passage of a similar law in Illinois that took effect in 2017.

Beauty professionals applying for a license in California will be required to complete a one-hour training focused on the signs of domestic abuse and sexual assault, as well as how to support clients and connect them with the help they need to move out of an abusive relationship or situation.

According to bill’s sponsor, “The trust that often exists between professional hair stylists and their clients creates an opportunity to connect victims of domestic abuse with local social service agencies and resources. Salon professionals can serve a unique role in spotting signs of abuse and connecting victims who wish to seek out services with the appropriate resources.” The new law does not mean that salon professionals are legally required to report suspicion of abuse.