Some hair stylists skeptical of abuse-training legislation

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DENVER -- A bill that would require barbers and hair stylists, among other professions, to go through domestic abuse awareness training cleared the Colorado House on Tuesday.

The measure would force all stylists to have one hour of online training before renewing their license. 

"They are not required to act, this is information," said State Rep. Edie Hooton, the sponsor of the legislation.

Hooton said she was inspired after learning of a nail technician who testified that she didn't know what to do after a client confided in her that she feared for her life. That woman later died.

Hooton said the one-hour training would be online and cost around $1. She said stylists would only need to do it once.

"Throughout their entire career it's just one time," Hooton said.

But some hair stylists are skeptical of the legislation, feeling as though it is not their place.

"I feel like that's crossing the line of getting involved in someone's personal life," said Lisa Sackman, a hair stylist in Denver.

Sackman said the training would put extra pressure on her to be on the lookout -- something she doesn't feel qualified to do.

"I don't diagnose moles, I don't diagnose cancer, I feel like there are people who are highly qualified in their specific area and I am here to do hair," Sackman said.

The measure, which does not have a Republican sponsor, heads to the Republican-controlled Senate. It is unclear if Republicans in the chamber will oppose the measure like Republicans in the House did.

Hooton emphasized a stylist or barber is not forced to act or ask questions if they feel uncomfortable.

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