Volunteering in Ways that benefit Young Women.
I grew up in London and have always done my own hair (well in primary school my Mum used to do it for me) , but throughout uni I did hair for people in my Church and at university, as I attended a university outside of London with very few black people. Whilst working a 9-5 at the MOD , I did bridal hair on the weekends, then got the opportunity to work in the hair industry in Nigeria.
I kept postponing it as I was apprehensive, I'd never lived in Nigeria even though Mum dragged me there on holiday at any given opportunity. I'm sure I have been to my home town more times than my family that live in Lagos or Abuja.
About 2 years ago a friend of the family committed suicide, he was a budding actor, but his career was in peaks and troughs. Cut the long story short, my brother booked my ticket and I had one week to pack my life and go to Lagos "Just go, you don't have anything tying you down, you will regret it if you don't go".
People just couldn't understand why I would up and leave London, then manage a salon in Lagos and chase workers up and down, whilst my friends worked in oil companies and banks. But I worked with the most amazing people in the salon who lived in not so nice places but still lived and laughed and didn't complain as much as some of my friends that were better off, I still miss them now, and I appreciate life much more. I also learnt how to do hair to an even higher standard, used style to learn while counting money lol...
While in Nigeria I also used the opportunity to attend Make Up Courses at House of Tara, learnt how to sew , travel round Nigeria (this is where my salary went to LOL) and work part-time for the label Ella & Gabby, I'm pleased to say I'm part of a team that worked towards the feature in Vogue UK. It was so much cheaper to learn all of that in Nigeria ( I would have paid thousands of pounds in London instead of hundreds in Lagos), where I think the most talented Hair stylists and Make Up Artists are (They make the best out of anything). I appreciate life a lot more, and I am happier.
18 months later, I'm back in London and had the opportunity of speaking with some awesome ladies who had suffered hair loss as a result of being ill. I started making wigs and hope to go into more hospitals as part of a program called "Look Good....Feel Better" that advises women on applying their make-up when they have recovered.
This is the beginning for me and its my way of giving back, I also want to apply for sponsorship in Nigeria through the& Rolex scholarship, to set up temporary hair schools where girls can learn how to do hair. I noticed most of them had to pay salons to learn and unless you were sharp, most were used as cleaners.
In the meantime, I spoke to my friend the lovely Lara of Decoro Makeovers and we decided to have a day called Hair & Make Up 101. Hair and Makeup 101 is like our pilot for future endeavors. It's a one off subsidised class that teaches you how to apply your make up; a day, night and occasion look. The right methods of attaching hair extensions, mixing oils together to create fantastic combinations for your skin, scalp and to help with hair growth for natural and relaxed hair and lastly quick up-dos for those special occasions.
The event is for people who normally can not afford to pay for make up lessons, we will advise them on how to make the best of their make up, cheaper ways of skin care and facials, how to look after their natural and relaxed hair without breaking the bank. They will go away with a gift bag of tools they will use to implement what they have learnt and we have items from Bobbi Brown and Mac to use on live models. My friends volunteered these samples.
There will be an opportunity to ask questions on the day. You will leave with a bag of goodies we hope you will use to implement the skills we have taught you. It will be a fun, empowering day for those who want to enhance their beauty, learn about natural/relaxed hair and possibly kick start a career in this field without paying an arm and a leg, this is our way of giving back.
Before I finish, I also want to encourage more women to give of their time not just money, by volunteering in ways that benefit girls and young women.
This piece was sent in by Opeyemi of Hairmillionaire, one of the organizers of Hair and Makeup 101. Visit Opeyemi's blog www.hairmillionaire.blogspot.co.uk/ and Lara's website www.decoromakeovers.com/