Industry News

Hairdressers Against AIDS

Patrick McIvor | July 10, 2011 | 11:28 PM

On November 29, 2010, L’Oreal gathered 500 hairdressers from around the United States for Hairdressers Against AIDS, a gathering that partners the United Nations and L’Oreal to create a beautiful world without AIDS.
Hairdressers Against AIDS

After my bus ride in from Pennsylvania, I checked into the Hyatt Grand in New York City late morning on Tuesday the 29th and met my roommate, Latham Alexander who is an amazing artist with Mizani and has a salon in Indiana. After hanging out with Latham and three additional members of the Mizani Art Team for about a half hour, we all headed down to the mezzanine to register for the Hairdressers Against AIDS and get the badges we needed to get into the U.N. At 1:30, 500 hairdressers, along with the corporate teams from L’Oreal, Redken, Matrix, Kerastase, Shu Uemura, Pureology, and Mizani (the entire L’Oreal family) united for the first time to Use Our Voice, Use Our Power For A Beautiful World Without AIDS.

After a 10-minute walk from the hotel we arrived at the United Nations where an hour had been scheduled for us to get through security, much the same as airport security without the heavy petting. We had a few minutes before the conference began and it was amazing to have that time to talk with Ted Gibson, Leah Sterk, Kaz Amor, and it was unbelievable to look around and see Tracey Cunningham, Edward Tricomi, Joel Warren, Kris Sorbie, Jo Blackwell, Ruth Roche and on and on, it was unbelievable just to be there.

At 3pm we went into the United Nations and sat in the seats of the diplomats from around the world as we received comprehensive education about AIDS from top AIDS experts and activists. Opened by Christine Schuster, Sr. VP Redken Education Worldwide, she introduced An Verhulst-Santos, President L’Oreal Professional Products Division Worldwide, and the initiator of this partnership and event.

Five years ago when she was working in Brazil, An, became involved with Hairdressers Against AIDS, which had begun in 2001 in South Africa, and she brought her passion with her to the USA. Already existing in almost every major country around the world including China, France and England, Hairdressers Against AIDS, literally was missing only the USA to be in almost every major country. Now with the USA’s involvement and An’s passion, the partnership with the U.N. was happening.

With speakers like Pat Parenty/President L’Oreal Professional Products Division USA, Christine Alfsen/Senior Programme Officer United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, John Tedstrom/President & CEO Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, Susan Robinson/Associate Director CDC, Miguel Gomez/Director of, Dr. Robert Fullilove/Dean, Columbia School of Public Health, Regan Hofmann/Editor-In-Chief, POZ Magazine, Linda Wells/Editor-In-Chief, Allure Magazine, Ann Mincey/Corporate Spokesperson, Redken, Chuck Pollard/VP Creative L’Oreal and Darienne Howe/Sr. Director Communication, Marketing for Redken & Pureology, it was unbelievable.

We took interactive tests to learn facts about AIDS and had speakers educate us while dispelling dangerous myths about AIDS as they taught us to USE OUR VOICES, USE OUR POWER For A Beautiful World Without AIDS. Tuesday night we all gathered together in the ballroom and received our, vests, hats, scarves, buttons, umbrellas, backpacks, cards, pamphlets and flip cameras to head out onto the New York City streets on December 1, World AIDS Day to have one million conversations about AIDS.

On Wednesday, we left the hotel 500 hairdressers strong, identically dressed, and headed first to L’Oreal headquarters for a morning pep rally at 6:30am. Next it was off to the CBS Morning Show to participate outside the show with the hosts from 8-9am waving, cheering and having a great time with the morning team. Then we fanned out through NYC talking with people on the street about AIDS and recorded our conversations with our flip cameras and at video booths that were throughout NYC including Times Square.

The team I was on was positioned at the Apple Store in NYC near the southeast corner of Central Park, led by Dhaniel Doude with a team 10 strong we quickly started to fill our flip cameras. My role on the team was runner and from 9am to 2pm. Our team filled our cameras four times for runs which adds up to eight miles of walking, not including all the walking we did prior to 9am. As we ran cameras back to L’Oreal headquarters, 20 people from Reuters were transcribing every word as the videos were uploaded to the internet and streamed to the huge TV in Times Square. At 2:30pm we all gathered again at L’Oreal for a wrap/celebration to learn that by using our voice, using our power we generated over 168 MILLION impressions to start conversations about AIDS together in 6 ½ hours. And that is just the beginning. Learn how you can USE YOUR VOICE and USE YOUR POWER For A Beautiful World Without AIDS by visiting

Patrick McIvor is the artistic color director with Matrix – the leading professional haircare and haircolor company in the United States and part of the L’Oreal USA Professional Products Division. He owns patrick mcivor color studio (Bethlehem, PA) and studio two (Allentown, PA) – the two hottest hair studios in the Lehigh Valley. As one of the most respected colorists in the industry, McIvor mentors his team by involving them in runway work at New York Fashion Week; fashion/beauty editorial shoots and interviews with publications like Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Real Simple, Seventeen, Family Circle and Allure (editors named him best colorist in the USA); and television segments on “The 10! Show”/NBC Channel 10, WFMZ “Channel 69 News” and “Good Housekeeping Reports.” His studio provides stellar hair services inspired by international cosmopolitan influences such as fashion, cultural and global trends. In other words, guests leave with beautiful, sexy believable hair. McIvor is also featured in the book “50 Hairstylists.”

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