Ballarat hairdresser making a local and international difference

Hairdresser Darren Dubberley started helping people in need both locally and globally after realising his skills could take him further than his work at the salon.

Jumping on board Australian charity Hair Aid, Mr Dubberley set off with a team of volunteer hairdressers to run a hair cutting course for people in the Philippines living on the streets or in slum communities.

The idea is to teach a life skill that could be used to start a business or provide the individual and their families income support.

Now Mr Dubberley is raising money to return and continue the work and check in with the communities.

“Some of them have set up hair salons in their houses and they send me photos,” Mr Dubberley said.

“It is just really nice to see what we’ve gone over there to do is actually working.”

A charity gala ball at the Miners Tavern on Saturday will raise funds for Hair Aid’s Manila project through ticket sales, raffles and auctions.

Mr Dubberley said while Hair Aid may be best known for its international projects, he wanted to emphasise the organisation also gave back at a local level through its community cuts program.

Inspired by his time overseas, Mr Dubberley has led the push to bring the hair cut service to Ballarat’s disadvantaged and homeless.

“The community haircuts happen everywhere else around Australia,” he said. “So I thought Ballarat was a pretty big place, we should have it going here too.”

While it took a while to get the service up and running, the community cuts will now take place every six weeks at Breezeway alongside Uniting Ballarat’s Meals Program.

“They come along, have a haircut and it just makes them feel and look better - everyone knows a haircut can help you feel a heap better,” Mr Dubberley said.

“They really appreciate any help they can get.”

Mr Dubberley said as word spread and clients increased, he hoped to recruit more volunteer hairdressers and expand the service to multiple locations across Ballarat.

“I’m looking at a few more venues where people can go, working with different members of the community and teaming up with different charities,” he said.

“It would just add to the convenience for people by having all the services in the one spot.”

The next Hair Aid Community Cuts at Breezeway will take place on Monday, November 19. Hair Aid Charity Ball tickets available through Ballarat Tickets.