Through a three-day course, hairdressers learn active listening and how to identify signs of distress, providing invaluable aid in regions where access to psychological care is severely limited.

Motivated by her own experiences and the lack of mental health resources, Marie-Alix de Putter — president and founder of the Bluemind Foundation — and her team, initiated Heal By Hair. It was started to address an urgent issue of the low rate of access to mental health care in Africa.

The programme aims to capture values of listening and support in everyday salon interactions, a communal space where women traditionally spend time. Already, over 150 hairdressers have been trained in countries like:
  • Togo
  • Ivory Coast, and
  • Cameroon.

According to the programme, it plans to expand the training to:
  • Ghana
  • Rwanda, and
  • Senegal.

The programme says, the article highlights the significant impact of Heal By Hair, as demonstrated by the experience of Joseline de Lima in Togo, where mental health services are scarce.

Heal By Hair says that the training empowers hairdressers to offer an initial level of psychological support and to refer cases needing professional assistance. As the foundation works towards raising awareness and destigmatising mental health, it has called on institutions, donors and potential partners to support and engage in this movement to enhance the resilience of African communities.

"Join us in expanding this life-saving initiative and ensuring that mental health becomes a widely accessible priority. Your commitment can transform the lives of thousands in Africa, making the hair salon a new cornerstone of mental health support," concludes Heal By Hair.

For more information, visit You can also follow the Bluemind Foundation on Facebook, X or on Instagram