“The Hair-Do Project” Brings Together Greensboro Community around Hair

Panelists George Scheer, Shaina Machlus, Sandra Luckey, Teresa Hicks, Kevin Smith and Erika Wilhite

"The Hair-Do Project," a North Carolina Humanities Council mini-grant funded project, presented Greensboro Gets Tangled Up: A Photo and Film Exhibit, Friday, April 26, 2013 at the Interactive Resource Center (IRC) in Greensboro. Hundreds crowded into the community center which helps homeless and near-homeless individuals get back on their feet.

The film began with the reflections of project director Shaina Machlus, stylist at Figero Salon in Greensboro and volunteer stylist at the IRC. Various members of the IRC community and the Figero Salon were shown in the film talking about the difference having their hair styled made in their lives and the lives of others around them. There were also reflections from members of the greater Greensboro community, from young men in a barber shop, to a woman facing cancer and the fear of losing her hair. A segment on worst and best haircuts drew lots of laughter and nods of approval from the audience.

At the conclusion of the film, a panel discussion was held with Machlus, writer and director of the film Kevin Smith, humanities scholars George Sheer and Erika Wilhite, IRC Client and poet Sandra Luckey, and IRC Housing Coordinator Teresa Hicks. This discussion touched on the narratives shared in salon and barbershop settings, the performance aspects of hairstyling and interpersonal contact, as well as how projects such as this bring together the community for humanities-based discourse, in this case how film, photography, and oral histories document the mutually understood experience of personal grooming beyond class, race, gender, and age.

For more information about The Hair-Do Project, go to www.hairdoproject.com. For more information about the Interactive Resource Center, go to www.gsodaycenter.org.