DENMAN PHILIPPINES AND HAIR AID EMPOWER WOMEN THROUGH A HAIRCUTTING COMMUNITY PROGRAM
A beautiful haircut offers more than just a boost of confidence, it can, in fact, also serve as an inspiration and source of livelihood for people in need.
Denman, the renowned leader in hairbrushes, and Hair Aid, a nonprofit organization, headed to Barangay Nagkaisang Nayon in Novaliches, one of Quezon City’s partner communities for livelihood programs.
Early January, Denman Philippines Ambassadors Lourd Ramos and Anton Papa, along with a handful of Hair Aid volunteers, headed by Lisa Polini, lent their expertise in a week-long workshop aimed to teach participants about the proper tools and techniques in cutting hair. More than 25 participants gathered at the basketball court of Brgy. Nagkaisang-Nayon for the program, which offered unemployed men and women the opportunity to learn new skills for livelihood.
MAKING THE CUT
Hair Aid, established in 2010, has been offering its services in Metro Manila and has been working with Denman Philippines for the past three years. Since its inception, Hair Aid has helped over 2,300 individuals in Quezon City, and in its recent tour, aims to train 210 more.
Selina Tomasich, Hair Aid Founder, shares: “With Hair Aid, we want to go beyond mere charity and dole outs. We want to empower men and women by providing them with the skills for livelihood. We started teaching hair cutting classes here because it’s a much-needed service that can be learned, and everyone needs a haircut.”
Twice a year, Hair Aid heads to Manila to train Filipinos as their local barangay. In addition to the Philippines, Hair Aid also hosts programs in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, and soon Vietnam. To date, through the help of Hair Aid Sweden, Hair Aid UK, Hair Aid New Zealand and Hair Aid Australia, they’ve been able to train an estimated 1,400 individuals a year, and Tomasich hopes to hit 3000 a year by 2020.
“We love coming back here to the Philippines because it’s very fulfilling. We’re here because we want to help and we want to give women and other Filipinos the chance to lead dignified lives where they are able to provide for their families and themselves,” she adds. “As a mother, I understand their fears and want to give them the opportunity to thrive and succeed.”
Selina and Hair Aid volunteers offer their time and expertise for free, even raising their own money and airfare so that they may share their gifts. Lisa Polini, one such volunteer, flew all the way from Australia to be one of the 20 stylist-teachers at this workshop.
The multi-awarded trainer and hairdresser has made several trips to Manila, and with each trip, she’s become even more inspired and driven. “It’s all about giving back and making a difference. Hairdressing may start out as a hobby or as a curiosity, but it can be a fulfilling livelihood.” Along with her at the training workshop were Denman Philippine Ambassadors Anton Papa and Lourd Ramos and the Denman Philippines team.
Anton Papa, a young but well-versed stylist who has worked with some of the country’s biggest celebrities, had always been drawn to hairstyling and finds it important to take part in initiatives such as this. “I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for the support and generosity of teachers and other people who believed in me and who gave me the chance to learn. Through this training workshop, I hope to pay it forward and allow others to discover their own path and passion in hairstyling,” he says.
Lourd Ramos, another celebrity stylist, is a natural teacher, having tended to his own teams at Creations by Lourd Ramos Salons. “I think helping others is an innate want and need, and I’ve always found great satisfaction in teaching others. Hairstyling is an art, but you can easily learn the basics just through practice,” he adds.
Today, Denman continues to make a difference not only through its innovative line of brushes and combs – the tools of professional hairdressers around the world since 1938 – but through its empowering global initiatives such as its enduring partnership with Hair Aid.
For more information, visit www.denmanbrush.com and www.hairaid.org.au