Frequently Asked Questions
What does the week on the project look like?
For those that fly in on the Saturday before the project, you can either do; some private travel and sightseeing or come straight to the accommodation, meet the Project Leader and any others already there, or do some sightseeing in and around the city.
Sunday morning, we do some food shopping for breakfasts and lunches, and then find lunch. After lunch, we wait at the accommodation for everyone that is still flying in.
Sunday afternoon, once everyone is together, the project leader will do induction/cultural training, hand out team uniforms, go over the training manual, and answer any questions you might have.
Teams are formed, and resources are packed. (Volunteers are placed in teams of 2-4 and will travel to locations daily as a group).
Monday morning, we eat breakfast at the accommodation and then teams travel to the training location and begin the five-day training program. Every day a driver will take Hair Aid teams to and from the locations.
Monday morning, we teach how to use hair cutting tools, head shapes, how to section hair and how to do a straight cut. We work on live models. We usually gain models from the local community, friends or family, and even workers in local businesses. By the end of the first day, the trainees should have cut 2 – 3 straight cuts. We finish training at 4 pm each day. We take a break for lunch when it suits the trainees.
On day 2, Tuesday, we teach how to diagonal forward and backward and layers. Again, we train on live models, so that the trainees are learning on real live people. By Tuesday afternoon the trainees should have cut 2-3 more hair cuts.
On Wednesday, we teach graduation/bob cut.
Thursday is when we teach men’s cuts. This is a wonderful day as many people have gained great skills by now and they can confidently do 2 – 3 men’s cuts in a day!
On Friday, we demonstrate a few different styles, encouraging the learners to see what they can achieve with more practice. Then we hold a celebration party, and everyone that has completed the training, and can do the haircuts gets a personal certificate from Hair Aid. They then also get a scissor kit, with scissors, clips, comb and a cape all in a closed bag so that they have the tools to begin earning money from hair cutting
Where is the training held?
Training locations can be anything from a church hall, a park, inside a slum community, under a tarp strung out between trees, on the side of a road, or in an air-conditioned room. Locations are located within a taxi drive of 30 - 40 mins from our accommodation. Volunteers will be in teams of 2-4 and will travel to locations daily as a group.
Are the communities safe where we train?
We do not train in unsafe locations. We work with local government and management before partnering with organizations to maximize the safety of the entire team. Local community managers will be at the locations providing support and translation help. The Project Leader will visit your site during the project as well.
What type of accommodation does the team stay at?
The entire team stays together at one location. Accommodation is not 5 star and varies from country to country. All accommodations are safe and secure, have their own bathroom and have security. Rooms are shared. If you want your own room an additional charge will need to be paid by you.
Who comes along to projects?
Volunteer hairdressers/ barbers and beauticians and supporters, all come together to teach people living in critical poverty how to cut hair and do manicure/pedicures.
I’m not a qualified hairdresser yet, can I come?
YES! Everyone is welcome, emerging stylists will be paired with qualified hair stylists and you will be well looked after.
Can non-hairdressers come along?
Yes! They will be allocated to a team, your team if you like, and they will have lots of jobs to do! We need lots of hands-on decks to make the projects work.
$AUD1,800 (USD $1,300 approx) plus flights. Cambodia Induction is $2500
What does the cost cover?
The $AUD1,800 ($USD1,300) cost covers seven nights accommodation (Saturday night before the project so you are there for the Sunday start date), tool/resource purchases, freight to get tools to the country we are working in, the entire week’s ground transport, project insurance, your team t-shirt & cap/hat, administration, and logistics costs (project facilitation and management, project transportation, translators, hall hire, graduation certificates, celebration cakes, location costs, etc).Volunteers pay their own flights and personal medical insurance. Food and drink are also the responsibility of the individual volunteer
What is included:
Seven nights accommodation (starting Sunday night before the project, resource purchases, ground transport, project insurance, team t-shirt & cap/hat, administration, and logistics costs (project facilitation and management, project transportation, translators, graduation certificates, celebration cakes, location costs, hall hire, etc).
What is not covered:
Flights, personal medical insurance (must have), food, drink/s, personal items, travel to/from airports at home town.
Payment timeline: We have ‘Lay-buy’ on our web page – you can pay in full, or spread payments out over a few months. Deposits of $500 are due on sign up and are non-refundable. Final payments are due one month before the project start date
Can I Fund-raise to cover the costs?
Yes! Hair Aid Inc. is a registered charity with tax-deductible status. Fundraising activities can be conducted to raise the costs of the project. All types of fundraising can occur from crowdfunding to wine and cheese nights, to raffles/Tricky Trays.
What do we wear on the projects?
We wear our team t-shirts and long cotton harem style pants during training. We wear our Hair Aid cps or hats. It is culturally unacceptable to show shoulders, midriffs, cleavage, or too much booty so no low cut clothes, or leggings allowed. It’s also a makeup and jewelry free week for volunteers. Excess jewels and bling can make volunteers a victim of crime and also full makeup, nails, etc can be intimidating to learners.
For these reasons you are asked to remove jewelry (plain wedding bands are fine) and makeup for the week. At night, after the training is completed, normal casual wear is acceptable but please remember that showing shoulders, midriffs, cleavage, or too much booty highlights you to the immediate community and can cause problems for the team in general, particularly if the team heads out as a group at night.
Your Project Leader has a big job keeping everyone safe, so we ask volunteers to be considerate with their dress and help lessen any likelihood of danger to yourself or the team by following this requirement.
Why no makeup?
You are asked to wear no makeup during the project. We ask that you only wear very, very soft tone/color pink natural or nude nail polish. There’s a couple of reasons ask this. Firstly it’s not needed, secondly we'd rather trainees focusing on the training as we have limited time to achieve what we need to achieve. Also it’s incredibly intimidating for them to have someone come in made up with eye shadow, lashes, mascara, lipstick, blush etc etc. The feedback that we have is that they feel that they can’t approach trainers when they look like that, so it’s a week free of make up! You are more than welcome of course to wear tinted moisturizer with sunscreen in it.
Do I need immunization?
Only your Doctor can give you medical advice. Please consult your Doctor regarding immunization advice. We travel to areas where many tourists visit every year, so there is much information available regarding immunization requirements.
I’ve not traveled much before. Will someone pick me up from the airport?
Yes, airport collections can be arranged.
When I land do I need to take a cab to the hotel or will I be picked up?
You will be picked up from the airport and driven to the accommodation. Once we know everyone’s flight details we will book the airport collection.
Is there any extra precautions I need to take?
During the day you’ll need to ensure you’ve got both sunscreen and mosquito insect repellent on. Some location you’ll be walking through communities that may not be much shade, and while you do have your Hair Aid cap/hat, it’s best to have sunscreen on as well for added protection. Insect and mosquito repellent is your perfume of choice for the week! You apply in the morning, at lunch, after you’ve had a shower at night, before you go out to dinner. You’ll also be issued with mosquito coils to place in your bathroom at night to ensure no 🦟 get into your room.
Is the water safe to drink?
We always drink bottled water when we are on a project, no matter what country we are in. We suggest you purchase a 5 L bottle of filtered water and decant that into a smaller drinking bottle for the week. Your use this water for coffee, tea, cleaning your teeth and taking with you to drink on project locations.
Can I extend my flights and do some personal travel before or after the project?
How much spending money do I need?
Tricky question! You will need food money for lunch and dinner. On average dinner is $6 - $10, with beer. You will need money to buy drinks, bottled water and snacks. Internet, SIM cards are all available at the airport and are your own responsibility. If you buy ‘extras’, such as clothes, makeup at the Mall, only you will know what you’d spend there!
Is it best to take ATM cards over there or cash?
I have used ATM machines when I travel since 2010 and I’ve personally never had a problem. In all the projects that we’ve had I can count on one hand the number of volunteers that have had trouble with drawing on their cards. That’s not to say someone will have trouble from time to time. What we suggest is that you take over $100 worth of your own currency, converted into peso so you’ve got that on you as you fly in. As soon as you land at the airport, withdraw some money from the ATM. If there is an issue with someone’s card, and you absolutely can’t get cash out the project leader will loan some money for what you need for the week and It will be sorted out later.
Internet and local SIM cards, are these available?
Internet, SIM cards are all available at the airport and it is recommended you get your phone changed over when you land so you have immediate internet connection as you are traveling with the driver to the accommodation. Costs for this are your own responsibility.
Is it ok to take prescription medicines with me?
If you are travelling with prescription medicines you will need to do one of two things. Either get a letter from your doctor saying that you need the prescription medicines and you keep that with you and your other travel documents. Or, actually take your prescription that your doctor has provided, as proof of the medicines belonging to you for health reasons. It is generally a rule when you travel to any country in the world that you carry authorization for prescription medicines.
Do we take our own scissors/tools?
No. We use the tools we gift the trainees - that way you get to check all the kits and make sure all tools are good to use - ALSO your tools are safe at home and not at risk of theft.