Launch of Sheffield’s first black mental health friendly salon

17 February 2022

By Ella Brooker and Emma Leyva.

Tyrah’s Touch, Sheffield’s first black mental health friendly salon and hub launched last Saturday in the city centre.

It launched in partnership with ADIRA, a health and wellbeing charity supporting black people with mental health issues.

The idea was born by Ursula Myrie, the CEO of ADIRA, after she was sectioned years ago and didn’t have access to products for her African-Caribbean hair.

Salon owner Tyrah Myrie, Ursula’s daughter, said: “Not only it is so negatively perceived and stigmatised to be struggling with your mental health, but during that, haircare often gets neglected. That results in not only feeling like an ostracised ‘crazy black person’ to now looking like one too.”

Beside offering hair treatments, it is also a place of therapy to take care of customers’ wellbeing.

Tryphine Gumbo, 24, of Hodgson Street, Sheffield, a user of ADIRA’s services, said that she was expecting to visit the salon soon.

Ms Gumbo added: “We strive for our hair to look good as it is a massive representation of our mental state, personality, history and confidence.”

Speaking about the salon’s grand opening, Ursula Myrie said: “The reaction has been incredible, and from the black community itself, the response has been overwhelming.

“We have needed and been crying out for this for so long.”

Image courtesy of Kirklees TV.

The Yorkshire Housing Association is involved in this project as well. The family has been their customers for many years, and have previously supported ADIRA by funding conferences and food poverty projects

In the near future, the salon will also be offering accredited training to young people in styling African-Caribbean hair, creating opportunities to develop local talent.

The team behind Tyrahs Touch are helping to spread the training knowledge and have hopes to launch the salon nationwide in the future.

Since June 2021, all UK hairdressers must be trained in cutting and styling afro-textured hair.

Written by Emma Leyva

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