The role of hairdressers in female condom programming
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The role of hairdressers in female condom programming. UAFC Project- Cameroon. Washington , 26 th July 2012. Choice Justification: community involvment. Most women visit a hair salon at least once a month About 30 minutes to an hour is spent in the salon at each visit

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The role of hairdressers in female condom programming

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The role of hairdressers in female condom programming

UAFC Project- Cameroon

Washington , 26th July 2012

Choice Justification: community involvment

  • Most women visit a hair salon at least once a month

  • About 30 minutes to an hour is spent in the salon at each visit

  • Once they are satisfied with their hair style, women come back to the same salon

  • Good relationship and friendship are established between clients and hair dresser, which makes discussions on sensitive issues a possibility

  • Recruitment of community leaders, who are part of the geographical area of the hair saloon and share the same native language

Choice Justification: community involvement

  • Most hairdressers are part of women’ groups and they usually take female condom to activities in which the participate within their community

  • The hair salon is usually the place where women meet during weekends to chat and make friends while styling their hair.

  • Hair salons are the ideal setting to bring female condom closer to the population, track users and address difficulties they face in using female condom

Strategies in working with hairdressers


  • Ongoing formal training of hair dressers

    One on one communications

  • Condom benefits/Demonstrations on correct use/ negotiation techniques


  • Product and promo material visible and well displayed in the hair saloon


  • Regular supervisions of hairdressers by community animators

    Linking and learning

  • Quarterly meetings in each region of the project


  • 10 community animators recruited

  • 156 hairdressing salons involved

  • 453 peer educators from hairdressing salons trained (449 hairdressers, 4 barbers)

  • More than 450 000 female condoms sold through this channel in 2 years


  • Highly motivated and passionate about female condom

  • Most hairdressers speak from experience

  • Activity generating additional incomes for most hairdressers

  • Important for Interpersonal Communication and for immediate feedback

  • Hairdressers have a high capacity of community mobilization


  • High mobility of hairdressers

  • Less educated, which makes it difficult to write reports correctly

  • Challenges in maintaining balance between scale up and quality

Lessons learnt

  • Identification of hairdressers takes time and needs to be done very early

  • Recruitment of community animators helps in permanent follow up and regain of motivation from hairdressers

  • Training of saloon owners helps maintain activities even when employees resign

  • Barbers involvement improves FC acceptance by men

  • Communicating through hairdressers helps

    to demystify female condom within the community

Thank you

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