British Beauty Council Charity Affiliate Haircuts4Homeless have announced the launch of ‘Hear Me, See Me’, a coffee table book which aims to humanise the face of homelessness by challenging stigmas and stereotypes through honest, thought-provoking imagery and words to acknowledge that the smallest of actions can have the greatest effect. The charity have launched a Crowdfunder campaign to support the printing costs of the book, which offers supporters a variety of rewards in return for their donation.
Haircuts4Homeless was founded by hairdresser Stewart Roberts in 2014, and provides haircuts for homeless people across the UK, free of charge. Haircuts are an unimaginable luxury for homeless people, boosting confidence and self-esteem, especially in situations that most of us are privileged enough to take for granted.
It’s uplifting to watch the positive change throughout a Haircuts4Homeless session. Before your eyes, you witness a person’s growth in confidence – not only a physical change in posture and a beaming smile but also how they communicate and connect and eventually volunteer their story to a non-judgmental pair of ears. This growth in confidence plays a vital role in combatting feelings vulnerability and isolation.
67% of people agree that a haircut can improve their mental health.
Haircuts4Homeless announced the launch of the ‘Hear Me, See Me’ book in October; they have also set up a Crowdfunder page, which will support the printing costs of the book. On the Crowdfunder page, they say that “In the next 30 days we need to raise £20,000 to send our beautiful book to print, the sales of which will help keep us going as long as we possibly can!”. Click here to donate and to preorder your copy now!
“Homelessness is at crisis point in the UK and although we are aware this book is not going to solve the issues, we do believe we can contribute to making a small difference to the lives of these people. But we need your help, so please buy a copy of the book to help maintain our ability to fund our services.”
– Stewart Roberts, founder Haircuts4Homeless
Since 2019, London based photographer Jack Eames, and session hairstylist Leigh Keates, have been working alongside Haircuts4Homeless, joining Stewart in his sessions. With the express permission of the clients, Jack has been photographing the Haircuts4Homeless guests, while Leigh has been documenting their spoken stories. Now, with an archive of beautiful portrait photographs and intimate quotes, Haircuts4Homeless are collaborating with both artists to release Hear Me, See Me: a large photographic coffee table book of their guests from the past two years.
“I first pitched the book concept to Stewart and Jack after a touching encounter whilst volunteering for H4H. Several very close-to-home conversations with the guests had triggered an awakening moment for me, forcing me to realise that I too, had stigmas and stereotypes attached to my understanding of homelessness. This gave me a burning desire to provoke the same conclusion in others.”
– Session Hairstylist and Haircuts4Homeless volunteer, Leigh Keates
Haircuts4Homeless are doing this for social change and empowerment to encourage a shift in the perception of homeless people. By using the imagery and words that have been captured from guests at centres across the UK, they present to you this thought-provoking book, to humanise these individuals that are often wrongly stereotyped and marginalised by society, defined solely as ‘homeless’, a homogenous commodity with no thought as to a past or a story.
Haircuts4Homeless invite you to join them on a journey, not to change those that are homelessness, but to change those that are not: let’s make the invisible visible, and spare a thought without judgement that every human being deserves the right to human connection, touch and communication, critical elements in mental health and general well-being.
It’s more than just a haircut!
To support Haircuts4Homeless, and order your copy, click here.