Maui Moisture announces partnership with Psychohairapy, an organization that uses her as a gateway to mental health care

In honor of Black History Month, Maui moisture is pleased to announce its collaboration with Psycho Haarpy, a global mental health and hair movement founded by Dr. Afiya Mbilshaka, a psychologist, hair stylist and hair historian. Dr. Mbilshaka developed this certification program that equips hair stylists 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 all types of curls, which is why PyschoHairapy’s mission statement resonates with us,” said Sheena Henry, earned media manager for Maui Moisture. “We know that texturism, micro-aggressions and discrimination have a profound and negative impact on how our consumer sees themselves, affecting their self-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 well-being.”

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


Dr. Afiya Mbilshaka started PyschoHairapy as a research space for psychology faculty and students Howard University in 2014. Always the go-to hairstylist for family and friends, she came to a crossroads in college to either pursue a career in psychology or hair care. It was then that she realized that there was an opportunity to simultaneously do her and provide psychological services. After doing further research, she found that black women are more likely to make a hair care appointment than a mental health appointment and collected data from hair salons and barbershops across the United States. Washington, DC metropolitan area to provide further evidence for the relationship between her 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 to the digital landscape and the demand for the course has grown. Stylists and hairdressers were often the only physical contact with people. Stylists were persistent in asking for training sessions to address their clients’ grief, depression, and anxiety. Today, the program has certified nearly two hundred stylists.

“I am humbled and honored to be working with Maui Moisture on the passion of my life, using her as an access point to mental health care,” said Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka. “I can more confidently envision a world where hair stylists can support clients through stressful life experiences, building confidence through healing words and hair products.”


The PsychoHairapy certification is divided into 3 modules, where participants have the opportunity to interact directly with the instructors and colleagues. Participants can role-play, exchange ideas with each other and receive real-time feedback during the modules.

  1. The history of our hair: Brace yourself for this ride on a hair time machine. Dr. Afiya Mbilshaka – a psychologist, hair stylist and hair historian – takes attendees on a journey of discovery of the cultural and historical significance of hair through a visual narrative in the African diaspora. From the pyramid walls to trending social media hashtags, this workshop will provide context for why hair is so emotionally important to black communities. Participants will become fluent and analytical in assessing hair stories in the lives of their clients and larger communities. (two o’clock)
  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 disorders in our communities and how to deal with these issues in a caring and culturally sensitive way. (4 hours)
  3. Developing micro-counseling skills for the salon: Participants will 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 customer concerns and how to travel deeper into your own emotional world to guide your conversations. (6 hours)


With funding from Maui Moisture $100,000, PsychoHairapy hopes to train more than 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 to offer a highly curated personalized PsychoHairapy training and retreat, as well as Mental Health and Minority Mental Health Awareness Months programs.

For more information on Maui visit Moisture or follow @MauiMoisture #AloeForCurls on Instagram.

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

Maui Moisture announces partnership with Psychohairapy, an organization that uses her as a gateway to mental health care

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