As hairdressers, beauty therapists, and dermal clinicians alike, it is in our nature and part of our day-to-day jobs to make people feel good about themselves. We are in the feel-good industry. There is nothing more powerful than being the light at the end of the tunnel for someone in need. That’s why Sustainable Salons has partnered with HaiR-3Rs, a revolutionary training program empowering salon professionals to help clients experiencing family violence by giving them the skills to recognise the signs, respond appropriately to disclosures, and refer clients to specialist family violence services for professional help.

Everyone deserves to feel safe, especially in their own home, and the HaiR-3Rs project from the Education and Training Team at Eastern Domestic Violence Service in Melbourne is turning the salon conversation on its head, arming salon staff with the skills to be able to recognise and act when someone is in need. Through their research, HaiR-3Rs was able to determine that many salon staff were the first point of communication regarding family violence, but receive no formal training on how to work through this with their clients when it comes up in the chair. That’s why, in 2016 with the help of overseas programs Cut It Out Canada and Family Violence – It’s Not OK, the development of the HaiR-3Rs program began, aiming to bridge the gap between salon staff and education, ultimately preventing those experiencing violence and salon staff from being left at risk.

Those experiencing violence may not feel comfortable speaking about their situation or have the courage to do so, however, with the HaiR-3Rs program, 1000+ trained salon professionals from the Australian hair, beauty, and barbering industries are now being trained to pinpoint behaviours, assist in conversation and spot when someone may need assistance in family violence – and it is saving lives.

The team at HaiR-3Rs are qualified educators with backgrounds in family violence support, primary prevention, sexuality education, respectful relationships, and inclusive practice. These individuals, along with the team here at Sustainable Salons are passionate about changing the conversation and societal perception of family violence and believe with the correct skills and training, everyone can be a part of prevention. Their vision is a community free from violence, where everyone is safe.

In Australia, 1 woman is killed every 9 days due to family violence. These statistics are alarming and that’s why at Sustainable Salons we are aligning ourselves with programs such as HaiR-3Rs, which are a part of the solution. Unfortunately, it is doubtful for police or specialty services to be the first point of contact for anyone experiencing these circumstances, however, they are more likely to talk to someone they trust or have a close relationship with. The salon space is often a place where many turn to for help, seeing their hairdressers or beauty therapists as someone they trust and can confide in. After all, giving them creative freedom with their hair and skincare takes a high level of trust for many.

With the help and support of key industry leaders such as the Australian Hairdressing Council, ARA Hair and Beauty, Professional Beauty Association, and L’Oréal Australia, HaiR-3Rs was able to train 309 salon professionals in their first 6 months. Now at the forefront of change, HaiR-3Rs is dedicated to eliminating family violence against women through their national program for salons across Australia, with over 1000+ salon staff who have completed their training program holding power for a safer and better future.

If you are a Sustainable Salons member and you or your salon staff want to join the movement for the fight against family violence in your salon space – visit the link below for more information.