NEW YORK — Among the many companies helping to rebuild Afghanistan’s beauty and salon industry, Clairol is the latest to join the effort. In a six-day training course held at the Clairol Professional Educational Salon in Manhattan, Clairol and parent company Procter & Gamble provided lessons and educational materials to professional stylists working for Beauty Without Borders, a new program within Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Support for Afghanistan, an organization founded by Patricia O’Connor and Terri Grauel in 1996 to assist the women of Afghanistan.
A team of nine women of American and Afghan-American descent attended the course and will travel to The Academy in Kabul, a training and educational center, to teach the local Afghan stylists lessons in hair coloring, perming and styling.
Clairol and Procter & Gamble have provided an ongoing financial and educational commitment aimed to reenergize the country and especially the women living in a part of the world with many challenges, said Clairol president, Robert Matteucci.
The companies estimate their donations, in a combination of cash, beauty products and services, to be upward of $100,000. Internal contributions were generated by the companies’ art and public relations departments, as well as the educational team that translated the lessons and material into Dari, Afghanistan’s native language.
Currently, Clairol’s focus is on the educational value of the program in an effort not only to teach the fundamentals of hair care, but also to create an “enduring foundation for women to feel good about themselves,” Matteucci said. The hope is that this effort also will serve as a long-lasting model for education outside the lines of beauty.
“It will allow the freedom of beauty,” said Marcy Cona, director of education and shows for Clairol. “How you feel on the outside really influences internal beauty.”
In Kabul, the trained stylists will teach a three-month course, beginning in July, to experienced and novice Afghan stylists. Teams comprising one bilingual Afghan American and one English-speaking American will rotate over three- to five-week periods throughout the year to keep consistency in the classroom. In order to maintain this consistency, Clairol customized its educational program by revisiting its current template to provide information to be translated and understood. As a result, a new terminology and beauty language will be created for present and future Afghan stylists.
Clairol looks forward to pursuing this endeavor and is enthusiastic about the program. “It is consistent with our company’s mantra by improving the lives of consumers,” said Matteucci.