Maui Moisture gives $100,000 to support PsychoHairapy’s mission of providing hairstylists with training in psychotherapy and mental health first-aid resources.

CLEARWATER, Fla., Feb. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — In honor of Black History Month, Maui Moisture is pleased to announce its partnership with PyschoHairapy, a global mental health and hair movement founded by Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka, a psychologist, hairstylist and hair historian. Dr. Mbilishaka has created this certification program that equips hairstylists with the skills to recognize mental health issues in their clients and administer culturally informed mental health services and resources.

“At Maui Moisture, we embrace all hair types and cater to those across the curl spectrum, which is why PyschoHairapy’s mission resonates with us,” says Sheena Henry, Earned Media Manager for Maui Moisture. “We know that texturism, microaggressions, and discrimination have a deep and negative impact on how our consumer sees herself, affecting her confidence and overall mental health. We understand the deep connection between hair and mental health and want Black women and girls—especially those in underserved communities—to have the best resources for both their hair and their mental wellbeing.”

Maui Moisture’s mission is to provide curl confidence to help improve self-perception and esteem, something many women and girls in the textured hair community struggle with. The brand’s ultra-hydrating, vegan-friendly formulas transform curls by using 100% aloe vera as the first ingredient in all their products, delivering 40x more moisturizing properties and 80% stronger hair*. With the brand’s purpose of transformation in mind, Maui Moisture enacts this partnership with PsychoHairapy to ensure their role in transforming women’s lives goes beyond a good hair day.


Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka began PyschoHairapy as a research space for psychology faculty and students at Howard University in 2014. She was always the go-to hairstylist for family and friends and came to a crossroads in college to either pursue a career in psychology or haircare. At that moment, she recognized there was an opportunity to do both hair and provide psychological services at the same exact time. Upon doing further research, she found that Black women are more likely to book a hair care appointment than a mental health appointment and collected data at hair salons and barbershops in the Washington, DC metropolitan area to give further evidence to the relationship between hair and mental health.

The PsychoHairapy Certification was established in 2019. The pitch was simple: train hair care professionals in psychotherapy. With the current health pandemic, PsychoHairapy has been translated into the digital landscape and the demand for the course grew. Stylists and barbers were often the sole physical contact with people. Stylists were persistent in asking for trainings to address their clients’ grief, depression, and anxiety. Today, the program has certified close to two hundred stylists.

“I am humbled and honored to collaborate with Maui Moisture on my life’s passion, using hair as an entry point into mental health care,” says Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka. “I can more confidently imagine a world where hairstylists can support clients through stressful life experiences, by building confidence in using healing words and hair products.”


The PsychoHairapy Certification is broken down into 3 modules with participants having the opportunity to interact directly with the instructors and peers. Participants can role play, bounce ideas off each other, and receive real time feedback during the modules.

  1. The History of Our Hair: Buckle up for this ride on a hair time machine. Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka —a psychologist, hairstylist, and hair historian— will take attendees on a journey of exploring the cultural and historical significance of hair through a visual narrative across the African Diaspora. From the pyramid walls to trending hashtags on social media, this workshop will give a context for why hair is so emotionally significant to Black communities. Participants will become fluent and analytical in assessing hair narratives within the lives of their clients and larger communities. (2 Hours)
  2. Recognizing Symptoms of Mental Illness in Communities of Color: This workshop focuses on culturally relevant mental health first aid. In this workshop, you will learn the signs and symptoms of common mental health disorders in our communities and how to attend to these matters in a caring and culturally sensitive manner. (4 Hours)
  3. Developing Micro-Counseling Skills for the Salon: Participants will engage in role play and practice active listening, narrative therapy, mindfulness, and supportive group work in the salon/barbershop setting. Here, you will learn “what to say” for common client concerns and how to travel deeper within your own emotional world to guide your conversations. (6 Hours)


With Maui Moisture’s funding $100,000, PsychoHairapy hopes to train 100+ PsychoHairapists, hire mental health professionals to offer virtual group therapy, create PsychoHairapy workbooks and produce a self-paced virtual class to increase accessibility for certifications. Maui Moisture and Dr. Mbilishaka are also working on offering a highly curated in-person PsychoHairapy training and retreat, as well as programming around Mental Health and Minority Mental Health Awareness Months.

To learn more about Maui Moisture visit or follow @MauiMoisture #AloeForCurls on Instagram.

Visit for more information, services, and to speak with the team or follow @PsychoHairapy on Instagram.

*vs. non-conditioning shampoos

SOURCE Maui Moisture

Originally published at
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