Scissors of Oz: Empowering People Through Hair

Founder of Scissors of Oz, Oz Izzet, has launched a programme to empower people through hair. ‘If in despair brush your hair’ is a storytelling programme for women.

The idea started prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Oz applied for funding to create workshops for women in the Southwark Women’s Hub. This was to talk about their heritage, experiences of any hair related trauma, hair care and self-care strategies. The aim of the programme was to empower people and to improve wellbeing, healthy mental health and confidence through grooming.

Oz with Influencer, Shahira, representing Southwark’s Women’s Hub

The programme would see 30 participants come together through 5 sessions x 3 hours each. This was for empowerment through their experiences of hair, re-developing the idea of beauty. Through discussion, creative writing and establishing practical tips, participants would establish their own feel good strategies. This way they could maintain their sense of wellbeing and mental health.

Funding for the programme came from The Culture Seeds. However, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, this did not permit the workshops to happen in the Southwark Women’s Hub. The Hub specifically provides support to the women in the area. The workshop had to undergo modification to continue to spread the word about the kind of work that Scissors of Oz do.

A safe place in which to feel amazing and relaxed.

The new idea involved one-to-ones with women in the Scissors of Oz premises. This allows them to have open conversations in a safe place. They can also connect with others – creating a community and wellbeing space. Influencer, Shahira, is the first to take part. The conversation was also recorded with the hope and vision that it would touch a wider outreach of people and audiences. This would help to encourage self-care and empowerment in sharing stories around hair care and grooming.

Oz Izzet, Founder of the Scissors of Oz commented, “Launching this programme means a great deal to me, I wanted to give back to the amazing women at the Southwark’s Women’s Hub and also create a safe space for them to share their experiences together. In doing this we aid and promote the importance of self-care, have open conversations about stigma, heal together and empower each other through hair. Elevating black voices and people of colour in our industry is important to me and Shahira was a great person to do this with in our video.”

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