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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


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 2800 young adults in 33 countries, towards a brighter future.

Shaping Futures Our Training Journey

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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.

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.

Shaping Futures Student Training


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.


Shaping Futures Student Class

Step 1: Selection

Working with trusted NGO partners, we select students who would most benefit from our skills-based vocational training.

Shaping Futures Student Cutting Hair

Step 2: Training

We give our students a firm foundation in all the basic hairdressing techniques including consultation, cutting, colouring and styling.

Students with their certificates

Step 3: Certificate

Every graduate receives a certificate to recognise their achievements and celebrate their success.

Student practicing cutting hair

Step 4: Placement

To provide long-term security and lasting success we work with local salon owners in an effort to place every student in full-time employment.

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 Trainer Ari

Ari Palojãrvi, Finland

"Shaping Futures is an awesome and unique opportunity to support young adults to become hairdressers. These young people are my inspiration – they were extremely brave to explore something new, something they weren‘t familiar with before."
Shaping Futures Trainer Agnieszka

Agnieszka Stoksik, Poland

"Sharing your own knowledge and experience is like teaching someone to fly; it‘s fantastic to see how they spread their wings and grow each day."
Shaping Futures Trainer Diane

Diane Fulton, UK

"Shaping Futures is a life-changing experience for both students and volunteers. Seeing students‘ enthusiasm and hard work, no matter how life has affected them in the past, is truly inspiring."
Shaping Futures Trainer Monique

Monique Mueller, Germany

"The greatest gift is to share your passion with someone who is willing to grow. It empowers both the one who is giving as well as the one who is receiving."
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.

Success Stories Tebogo with Mannequin Head

Tebogo really stood out during his Shaping Futures training in South Africa. His ability and commitment prompted one of his trainers – award-winning hairdresser and renowned stylist, Ania Kulec-Karampotis – to offer him an apprenticeship at her salon ‘Trendy Hair Fashion’ in Poland.

“Before Shaping Futures, I wasn’t really sure what to do with my life, but when my mother told me about the training I grabbed the chance – and it feels great. I am just really thankful to Shaping Futures for giving me the opportunity to become a great stylist."

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.


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

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1: The Countries

Simon Ellis presents the Shaping Future initiative and introduces some of the developing countries and underprivileged individuals which the concept strives to support.

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2: Our Partner Circle

We meet some of the incredible NGO leaders and Schwarzkopf Professional trainers who have made the Shaping Futures initiative a reality.

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3: Our Students

We hear of the heart-warming stories from students and their parents of how Shaping Futures has enhanced their lives and given them hope for the future.

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4: The End and the New Beginning

We follow Shaping Future students as they successfully complete their training and find out about their exciting plans for their career.