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Shaping Futures' mission is to empower. We teach disadvantaged young adults the skills of hairdressing so they can support themselves and change their lives.

Shaping Futures Students

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Born from a small Japanese project with Cambodian street children in 2008, Shaping Futures evolved into a global initiative in 2010 when Schwarzkopf Professional partnered with SOS Children's Villages – a leading non-profit organisation. Since then, we have helped over 3000 young adults in 33 countries, towards a brighter future.


Training for a brighter future, our students come from socially challenged backgrounds, but Shaping Futures gives them a chance to break the cycle with skills that can instil self-worth and power independence.

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Shaping Futures Student Learning

Shaping Futures’ mission is to help socially disadvantaged young adults fulfil their potential and improve their future by teaching them the craft of hairdressing.

Shaping Futures has trained and supported the development of young men and women across all continents.

Every one of our students is trained in a suitable and safe learning environment.

Shaping Futures can be a real lifeline, helping students take the first invaluable step towards a professional career.


There are many ways to get involved in the work of Shaping Futures. Become a volunteer trainer or make a donation – and help turn social disadvantage into professional success.


Our trainers give their time and expertise for free, so that our students benefit from best-in-class teaching, to unlock their potential and improve their lives. Many trainers find it a life-changing experience for them too!

Our Trainers



Shaping Futures
20 young adults from SOS Children’s Villages in the Phlippines participated in the free hairdresser training

Julia Schwittai, an experienced hairdresser from Berlin, Germany, recently embarked on her second impactful journey as a volunteer with Shaping Futures. In 2023, she passionately contributed to the 'Shaping Futures' initiative in Manila, Philippines, empowering 20 underprivileged young adults to pursue their dreams of becoming professional hairdressers.

Having previously engaged in an inspiring project in Myanmar in 2019, Julia's commitment is fueled by a distinct purpose: sharing her expertise and 14 years of professional experience to offer promising futures to young individuals. 

"It's more than just hairstyling; it's about instilling confidence, fostering creativity, and laying a robust career foundation."

Her profound experiences in Myanmar and the Philippines left Julia deeply moved by the resilience of young learners amid adversity. Her unwavering commitment stands as a testament to the remarkable pace at which individuals can grow given the right opportunities.

"As a society, we must unite and extend support where it's most needed. This is the catalyst for creating meaningful change and shaping a brighter future,"

While hairdressing may not always receive the recognition it deserves, individuals like Julia Schwittai showcase its true essence. It's an art form that bolsters confidence, nurtures creativity, and lays the groundwork for a promising and fulfilling professional journey.

Julia Schwittai
Shaping Futures volunteer Julia freely dedicated her time and skills to help disadvantaged young adults
Shaping Futures Students Success Stories


Behind every person there's a story to tell. Discover some of the futures that have been shaped by our work right here.

"Shaping futures was a great opportunity for me.  I learned new cutting and coloring techniques. I even appeared in the newspaper twice because of Shaping Futures. It was just a GREAT experience."
Oday Habib

From the beginning of his training Oday showed exceptional abilities. He is very involved in his own development and often takes part in various hairdressing competitions. He’s won multiple hairdressing awards, has over 130k followers on Instagram where he showcases his artistic hairdressing skills, and recently opened his own salon. Dive into Oday's story of success further with our recent interview.

Shaping Futures Vietnam

Son was abandoned by his parents at a young age and from then on grew up in the SOS Children’s Village Thanh Hóa, Vietnam, along with his little brother and sister. By participating in Shaping Futures program, he was able to secure a job, practice and enhance his skills, gaining a lot of confidence in the process. Later, Son decided to move back to his hometown to open his own professional hair salon. Today, Son is giving back what he once received, closing the circle of Shaping Futures. Since 2018, he has returned annually to the SOS Children’s Village where he grew up, to join the Shaping Futures training – only this time as a trainer in his own right.

Success Stories Manashi Washing Hair

From growing up in an SOS children’s village in India to demonstrating her artistry on the Essential Looks World Tour stage in Berlin, Manashi showed how far one person can come in 19 short years. Her Shaping Futures training in Chennai, equipped her with the power to shape her life in a new way. Now, she is working at Naturals, one of the biggest hair salon chains in India.



Oday Habib in black and white on dark background
Oday Habib holding Session Label product with arms around red haired model.
Oday Habib andd friends
Oday Habib took part in Shaping Futures in 2019 and only 4 years later is a creator at Schwarzkopf Professional’s #Colorcrafters event with his own hairdressing salon

Shaping Futures was born from a simple, yet powerful idea: Providing young adults a skillset that would allow them to generate an income and have a sustainable future. You yourself also got involved in hairdressing at a young age to support your family - would you mind telling us more about that?

"Fleeing the Syrian civil war, my family and I found refuge in Lebanon. My brother mentioned my interest in a salon job, though he didn't tell me. When the owner approached me, I played along, realising it was crucial for my family’s survival. This serendipitous moment changed the trajectory of my entire life."

In Germany, like in many other markets, the industry is affected by declining numbers of trainees. What role can initiatives like Shaping Futures play to counteract this trend? 

"In Nuremburg, where I trained, Shaping Futures takes a comprehensive approach by engaging both vocational hairdressing students and refugees enrolled in pre-vocational classes through a series of integrated seminars. This provides a unique opportunity for exposure to industry role models and the chance to interact with peers. The goal is to inspire and facilitate the entry of individuals into the hairdressing field."

How did Shaping Futures affect your professional development?

"I have always been involved in my own development, often taking part in various hairdressing competitions. Shaping Futures was a great opportunity to learn new cutting and colouring techniques that I wouldn’t have learned in school. I even appeared twice in the newspaper because of Shaping Futures. It served as a motivational catalyst, propelling me to further refine my skills."


Watch our documentary series to learn more about Shaping Futures and discover the incredible impact the initiative has had on the lives of disadvantaged young adults from your very own front row seat.

Inside Shaping Futures