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Teaching Hair Skills and Transforming Lives with Selina Tomasich

May 16, 2020

Beauty Means Business Podcast 

Hair Aid  

Selina Tomasich 

Selina Tomasich is the Founder and CEO of Hair Aid, an organization that provides free haircut training for people living in critical conditionsCommunities suffering from homelessness, domestic violence and poverty. Hair Aid takes hairstylists into harsh realities, where people are born without hope. A reality that most westerners cannot imagine. Haircuts are taught by these volunteer hairdressers from around the world and tools are provided to help them create a skill and a purpose. 

What Hair Aid is doing is so much more than teaching people haircuts. Hair Aid is giving hope to people that have never had an opportunity before.  

In this episode of Beauty Means Business Radio, Selina Tomasich takes us on a very raw journey of the critical poverty many countries and communities are living in. In this eye-opening episode, we explore the realities of being born into a life without hope. Children that are abandoned, women forced into prostitution, families whose livelihoods are based off the garbage they sift through that day. These conditions are so critical, that in many communities’ people are earning $1.20 a day sifting garbage. Hair Aid teaches people to cut 3 haircuts a day, where they can earn $5 a day – and a hopeful and purposeful future. 

We talk about the transformative experience that hair stylists have in traveling to work in slums, dumps and graveyardsAn experience that cannot be felt through a documentary. It cannot be studied in a book. And it cannot be understood through reading an article. Traveling to these communities imprints a knowledge in you that can never be discarded. The work of these volunteers is so powerful that Selina’s organization has trained over 5,000 impoverished people to cut hair and has attracted the support of thousands of hairdressers worldwide including Tabatha Coffey, a renowned leader and businesswoman in the world of hairdressing.  

Selina’s words remind us how privileged the western world is, especially amidst the challenges of COVID-19. A powerful lesson for the industry at this time and for people at this time. Isolation is impossible in critical living conditions: communities share water taps, they don’t have houses. People are forced to go out and rummage and collect food to survive the day. Fresh water is a luxury and social distancing is a luxury. 

Hair Aid’s work has won two Gold Stevie Awards and four Silver Stevie Awards including Organization of the Year, Outstanding Not for Profit of the World, Best in the Beauty Space, with Hair Aid’s CEO named Female Innovator of the Year, Female Executive of the Year, Most Innovative Woman of the Year and was named in the top 50 Entrepreneurs for small business by the Victorian Government among many others 

 We encourage you to support Hair Aid’s cause: www.hairaid.org.au 

Takeaways 

  1. Teaching someone how to cut three haircuts a day has a ripple effect of livelihood on their community. These people can earn a living, feel a purpose and begin to teach others in their community how to cut hair.  
  2. Fresh water and social distancing are a luxuries. 
  3. Even one connection can create an impact to save dozens of lives. 

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