AUSTRALIA, FEATURE, HAIR, HAIRSTYLIST Selina Tomasich
CEO Founder of Hair Aid
The Hair Aid story began in 2010 when founder and CEO, Selina Tomasich, was holidaying in the Philippines when she met two nuns living in Manila.
Anything could happen when you’re holidaying somewhere, whether it’s finding your next challenge, meeting you other half or being inspired to make a difference. Well for Selina Tomasich, it’s the latter.
It all started with a conversation with Australian Sister Kate and Sister Canadian Claudia, leading to the work they did with children abandoned on the Manila streets of the Philippines. Their story touched Selina’s heart and motivated her to help.
The Sisters’ mission was to reunite them together and teach the children’s parents a skill that could turn into a job – the was most probably start a sewing centre.
Inspired by their initiative to help the people in need. Tomasich, who was an Academic at the University of the Sunshine Coast at the time, gathered a team to return back to Manila where they taught seventeen people how to sew in two weeks. She returned with even more volunteers the following year.
Hair cutting was another skill that the locals found useful. So she went back home and gathered volunteer hairdressers to join her next trip. The response for the training increased. In 2013, Tomasich founded Hair Aid, and registered it as a not for profit in Australia before establishing worldwide.
Hair Aid now has seven international projects a year, and more than 20 hairdressers at a time come on each project.
The company does two trips annually to the Philippines and Cambodia and yearly to Indonesia. Hair Aid also travelled to Thailand for projects there in 2019.
Within five days, the locals can learn five basic cuts. With the hair-cutting kits donated through Hair Aid, the locals can freely launch their own businesses – or even on the side of a road – to start earning money in order to feed their children.Till this day, Hair Aid has trained over 3,700 people.
In addition to these international projects, Hair Aid has started another offshoot: Hair Aid Community Cuts (HACCs). It also has 40 communities around Australia.
Volunteer hairdressers travel to various locations every six weeks to provide free haircuts to people who cannot afford them. The demand is so great, proving that Hair Aid is doing the right thing into reaching more people around the country.
What are your commitments and responsibilities? Can you entail on what you educate hairstylists before traveling?
I am responsible for planning and traveling with all projects. We do eight international projects a year, with up to 20 volunteers on each project.
How many times do you travel within the year and to what countries are listed on part of your organization?
8 international projects a year, Hair Aid does two trips a year to the Philippines and Cambodia Thailand and Indonesia..
How is Hair Aid supported with resources to ensure there are enough to provide and supply for the education needed.
We are always seeking support from sponsors. https://jenifferadarayan.wixsite.com/hairaid/hair-aid-heroes.
We have all these sponsors that supply the tools needed.
What hairdressing tools are supplied to trainees to start their training?
A scissor kits that contains 1 x scissors, 4 x section kits, 1 x comb, 1 x cape and a bag to hold all the tools in. Change a life today, sponsor a kit.
Tell me the importance of coaching and personally investing in a team before heading to the communities? How often do you meet with them, and how do you think this impacts your team?
We have an online Facebook group where all volunteers meet online 12 weeks prior to the project. All the information is there for them and their families to read. We meet physically at the project. Everyone comes from all over the world, so meeting in person prior to that is impossible. Everyone gels quickly.
Here are some testimonials https://jenifferadarayan.wixsite.com/hairaid/hair-aid-family
What has been your proudest moment and biggest accomplishment so far that Hair Aid has accomplished?
We trained our 5000thperson in 2019. We have just finished working in the women’s prison in Bali and will build a permanent training salon in there in 2020.
#September 16 ·
Hair Aid headquarters is abuzz with activity this week!
Our CEO has returned from three weeks overseas, one week completing the Cambodia project teaching women rescued from the sex trade, drug gangs, and other critically dangerous circumstances the skill of basic haircutting. Immediately after this successful project the Indonesian project occurred.
We had five amazing locations, one in the rural area supporting women who have no access to training.
Another location supported people with disabilities, and mobility challenges. This extraordinary group created much love and laughter during the week.
We then worked with the church group that has an outreach program to local communities. They run a program with more than 300 families are looked after.
Being able to create an income is almost impossible for these families.
After five days training they now have the basic skills to be able to cut five basic haircuts. We also worked in the Denpasar dump.
We’ve worked here before with this amazing community, and this latest project was no exception.
When you know that people’s options of earning a living is to work from 6 am in the morning to 5 pm at night gathering the plastic water bottles that everyone throws away and they only get six cents per kilo, meaning they earn $1.20 a day, Teaching them the skill of five basic haircuts can changes their life dramatically. No longer do they have to work in the dump, now they can create a small micro business and earn 10 times what they did before and much nicer surrounds. It truly is life changing what we do.
The last location we worked in was a Denpasar women’s prison. Words cannot describe the impact that had on our volunteers and our team. We’ll be doing much more work with the Government in this area, and creating an in-house training salon, which will supply them with the equivalent of a certificate1 in hairdressing.
When was that first moment when you thought ‘’l made it’’?
Hair Aid was a finalist in the prestigious Telstra awards = out of 21,00 nominations, we came top three. We have won 6 Stevie awards, 1 gold, 5 silver this year. We are finalists as Community Group of Australia
Selina how can you be reached?
CEO and Founder Hair Aid Inc.
M: +61 4 23 923 434
Company Name: Hair Aid Inc
Instagram account; HairAidInc
Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/HairAidAustralia/