Social Change Hairdressing

Social change hair salons: From Australia’s most remote community to circling the globe with a Churchill Fellowship.

Around the world people are using hair and hairdressing to make change in their community. The salon space, and the exchange between people which occurs there, is a powerful opportunity for connection and transformation.

‘Social change hair salons’ is the term I coined to describe these programs. This is an emerging area of practice across health promotion, community development, disaster response and cultural engagement.

My particular interest is a hybrid form which is part live art, part hair party and part development work. Do I do hairdressing? Yes, but I usually work alongside hairdressers who are far more skilled in hairdressing. You’ll usually find me working on the engagement, communications and production side of things.

I started exploring this area in 2008 when I worked with an Aboriginal-majority team in remote Australia to establish Wilurarra Salon.

In 2012-2013 I directed and produced Good Hair Days, a series of films profiling Indonesians who run innovative hairdressing programs.

I was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to visit and research social change hair salons around the world in South Africa, the USA, Europe and the UK in 2013. You can access the report here.

I am currently writing a book about social change salons. This work has been supported by a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship.

I do social change hair salon events as part of the fabulous Sir Madam Salon team with specialist skills in hair, engagement and live art.

Want to find out more? The ABC recently did a great story on us, including a radio piece.

Interested in hosting us to run a social change salon? Contact me here.