Pro-Life Hairstylists Lecture Clients on Abortion During Haircuts

hairstylistImagine this scenario: You need a haircut -- badly -- so you take a trip to the hair salon. The hairstylist gets to work on your 'do, you settle back and relax in the swivel chair, and then without warning, she suddenly launches into a moral lecture against abortion. Is this really the time or place for that?

This is precisely the goal behind Atlanta's Samson Project -- a new pro-life venture that convinces hairstylists to advocate against abortion while they are doing highlights and haircuts for their clients. Specifically, the goal of the project is to spread information about the high abortion rate among black women and how this impacts the black community; so far more than 1,000 stylists have committed to participating. But here are the issues I see with disseminating any information about abortion rights (pro or con) in salons.

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First, a hair salon is not the appropriate venue in which to discuss a topic as controversial as abortion. I have this rule about first dates: Never talk about politics or abortion because you don't know how people will react. I think the same thing applies in a business where employees should be doing everything in their power to make their clients feel relaxed. Sure, women getting their hair cut tend to talk to their stylists about really personal things (relationships, family matters, etc.), but abortion is different. It's one of those heavy topics that often makes people tense, defensive, and upset. The swivel chair is no place for such controversy.

And another thing: For a stylist to bring up a topic that's as potentially painful as abortion unsolicited is, quite simply, an invasion of privacy. Most hairstylists aren't aware of their clients' entire background, so why would they take a risk of upsetting or potentially traumatizing someone who may have some history involving abortion? Clients take it for granted that the chair is a safe, comfortable space. They shouldn't have to unexpectedly endure or even suffer through a lecture -- on either side of the issue -- just because the stylist has an agenda.

In fact, that sounds like a surefire way to lose business.

 

Image via bradleypjohnson/Flickr

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