Kenyan women, with their vibrant salon culture, visit these havens of grooming and beauty at least once a month, often spending over 6 hours in a single session. These extended visits become spaces for confiding in fellow women and hairdressers, sharing life’s joys and burdens. Unfortunately, while these conversations reveal the prevalence of mental health challenges, hairdressers, who become unofficial confidantes, often lack the skills to offer reliable support. Studies show that 1 in 4 Kenyan women experience a mental health disorder in their lifetime, with depression and anxiety being the most common. Yet, stigma and limited access to professional help leave many women seeking support in informal settings like salons. This collaboration between SokoBeauty and Mindful Africa aims to weave a safety net within these vibrant spaces, empowering hairdressers as compassionate allies for women facing mental health challenges. Instead of just wielding combs and brushes, over 1,000 hairdressers will be equipped with the potent tools of mindful listening, mental health awareness, and knowledge of professional help avenues. This comprehensive training, culminating in digital certifications, will not only elevate their professional profile but also attract clients seeking a listening ear and empathetic guidance. The project will incorporate mindfulness training into the curriculum for hairdressers. This will help them to be more present and compassionate listeners, as well as to manage their own emotional well-being in the face of hearing about others’ struggles.

Implemented by: Dukatech Solutions