Salon Owners Asked to Help Stop Human Trafficking

LUBBOCK, TX - A new state law requires that salon owners help in the fight against human trafficking, meaning the person cutting your hair could be the next person to save a victim.
 
That's because a common trend is for traffickers to take victims to salon and cut their hair, change its color and texture, anything to make them not like themselves. Now police are hoping hair stylists can spot the red flags and make a difference.
 
"When I first heard about it, I was like, 'in salons?' but when all of this human trafficking going on everywhere, I could see where they would come into a salon," said Sarah Harris, a hair stylist at the Big Bang Hair Salon. 
 
Under Texas law, salons and cosmetology schools have to post signs like these to help guide survivors to the right resources. 
 
"We're going to speak with each other and talk about it and see what signs of it are and kind of just look out for it more," said Micha Bruten, owner of the Big Bang Hair Salon. "It opens our eyes that it could be happening right in front of us."
 
Officials say traffickers take victims to hair salons to change their appearance to avoid detection. It's one of the many red flags that hairdressers hope to spot. 
 
"A lot of things happening in Lubbock, there was a time it wouldn't but you can just put it aside like, 'Oh, it happens somewhere else.' It's happening in your own community," said Harris. 
 
Cosmetology schools will also start teaching classes about the signs of human trafficking. 
 
"Something like that might come through, you can alert us that I see signs of something going on. It's making everywhere aware of what's going on," said Harris.
 
"It doesn't surprise me it's happening," said Bruten. "I think it's a good thing in cosmetology so it don't happen, so we can kind of stop it where it's happening."
 
If you or someone you know could be a victim of sex or human trafficking, you can call this hotline number: 1-888-373-7888. 

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