Sharing knowledge : Teaching hairdressing skills to the women

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Discovering the Centre

In 2016 I had the opportunity to visit the Seven Women Centre in Kathmandu and a relationship was born! We were in awe of the work Seven Women was doing and on our second visit in 2017 a seed was planted, perhaps I would come back and run a hairdressing workshop. Then on our third visit to the center in April this year, I was given a gentle push from Anita telling me “you need to spend less time in the mountains and more time in Kathmandu so you can teach the women how to cut hair” and just like that I said YES I DO!

On a mission to share

I came home and started working on my hairdressing workshop. I have 16 years hairdressing experience, but I have never taught before let alone put an entire workshop together. This was a challenge, but with guidance of an ex-colleague the workshop came together and before I knew it I was on a plane returning to Kathmandu to run my first ever workshop!

I didn’t sleep much the night before our first day of training. To be honest I was absolutely terrified about teaching. I was so far out of my comfort zone, but there was no turning back now! I had 12 girls in my class ranging from 18-25 and by the end of day 1 I was in complete amazement about the eagerness the girls all showed in learning a new skill.

During day 2 the girls smashed it! We had some fun with learning how to wash hair. They were all so timid and no one wanted to be the guinea pig, but as soon as the first was in the basin BOOM everyone wanted a turn! It was awesome watching them as they then smashed out three full haircuts on their mannequins!

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We started Day 4 off with some role playing, and it was great to see the women find their confidence. On this day I also taught graduation, possibly the hardest skill to teach and learn. The girls did pretty well with the challenge and not one of them gave in until they got it right. 

With the completion of our manual/mannequin training and the final form of cutting on Day 5, to say this day was entertaining would be an understatement. I thought teaching graduation was hard the day before, but uniform layering was also a tough one! After lunch we started on real clients, with all the ladies working at the Seven Women Centre getting pampered with a nice fresh new cut. I was extremely impressed with one of the girls in particular, she bought in a model and took on yesterday’s graduated bob, not a bad effort considering five days ago she couldn’t even hold a pair of scissors and comb together.

My final day was filled with many emotions and of course I cried! After lunch we had a celebration for all the girls completing the workshop. I handed out their certificates, which they were all so excited about getting, took a heap of photos (I felt like a celebrity) and then we danced. I even had a song dedicated to me with the chorus being “Before you came into my life everything was black and white, now all I see is colour like a rainbow in the sky,” cue more tears. What an experience!

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Written by Sarah Keyt