December 17, 2010
The L'Oréal Foundation will send HIV/AIDS toolkits to 500,000 US hair salons and stylists as part of Hairdressers Against AIDS, an awareness campaign already underway in more than two dozen countries. The goal is to get hairdressers to impart their HIV prevention knowledge to customers. The campaign's theme is "Use your voice, use your power, for a beautiful world without AIDS."
The United States has more than 950,000 hairdressers, said Christine Schuster, the New York-based senior vice president of worldwide education for the Redken and PureOlogy lines at L'Oréal, and each one "can see from 10 to 12 clients a day."
"The relationship a man or woman has with a hairdresser can be an intimate, personal, relationship," said Schuster. A stylist's advice often is sought and followed, she noted.
The toolkit materials focus on three key messages: "Reduce your risk," "Get tested" and "Talk about HIV." The campaign has a website, www.hairdressersagainstaidsusa.com, and a presence on social media like Facebook.
The L'Oréal Foundation developed the campaign with assistance from organizations such as the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS and UNESCO. An estimated $1 million will be spent on the US campaign in the first year, the foundation said.
[PNU editor's note: In a follow-up article, the Times reported that 500 hairdressers kicked off the campaign on World AIDS Day by marching through the streets of New York City.]