Building on the trusted relationship women have with their hairdressers – and the amount of time they spend with them – the Afghan Social Marketing Organization (ASMO) will use this influential group to deliver key maternal and child health and family planning messages to women. The pilot, scheduled to start this spring, will include 100 mid-sized salons with a middle class clientele in Kabul. SHOPS Plus is helping to design and implement the test program before the organization decides to introduce the activity on a larger scale.
Globally, beauty salons and beauticians are an integral part of modern day lifestyles. The services range from basic hair styling, facials, nail and eye care to complete body care and bridal make up. The "look good feel good" phenomenon has gained popularity among young and middle aged women. In Afghanistan, some women spend hours in salons, a place where they can feel relaxed in a supportive environment.
In large cities in Afghanistan beauty salons are ubiquitous. The Afghanistan Beauty Parlor Association reports over 10,000 member salons in Kabul alone. ASMO is piloting an intervention working with local hairdressers and beauticians who can reach out to women with maternal and child health and family planning messages and related lifesaving resources. Hairdressers and beauticians will act as change agents and help women adopt positive health practices for themselves as well as their families. SHOPS Plus and ASMO will use the results of the pilot intervention to inform the replication of this activity on a greater scale.