IN PICTURES: Hairstyling students put their heads together to promote mental health

WINNIPEG — Some hairstyling students in Winnipeg have been putting their heads together in a unique way to promote mental health. It’s an idea that may never have come to be, had it not been for the pandemic.

Since COVID-19 hit Winnipeg, students in R.B. Russell Vocational High School’s hairstyling department have had trouble practising their cutting and styling skills.

“Normally, this is to mimic a salon environment, but with COVID restrictions, we haven’t been able to have live clients in the building,” said Barbara Parkin, a hairstyling instructor at the school.

So, instead of live clients, the students have been practising on mannequin heads.

Each head allows for about four different haircuts. Now the students have found a new use for the mannequins when there’s no length left to trim.

R.B. Russell

“We thought maybe they can build a relationship and start to work on some mental health skills,” Parkin said. “We got them to express their inner most goals or thoughts.”

The students have been turning the heads into planters, and decorating them to reflect their goals and dreams.

“We thought what better way to put a plant that is growing and living and to sort of mirror the two together in the fact that some of these plants that they did choose – they are a representation of where their growth is going,” Parkin said.

R.B. Russell hairstyling

“The plant that I have here is a spider plant which symbolizes mindfulness and health,” said student Tashina Roulette.

“This is my dream, to open up a barber shop in the future,” said Mase Coronica, another student in the program. 

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