This salon gives women a chance to break the cycle of drugs and makeover their lives


A massive transformation is taking place in Chante Herries’ salon – and not just for those getting their hair done. Some of the stylists who work here have a background of drug addiction, and the impact it’s had on their lives has been quietly devastating. “What these women have gone through has taken away so much of their self-esteem, their confidence, their self-love,” Herries says. But in between the roar of the blow dryer, the chatter and laughs, change is in motion.

At Heavenly Hair Studio in Parkwood, Herries offers apprenticeships to women who’ve been in rehab. The matter is close to her heart – both her parents and siblings suffered from drug use. It strengthened Herries’ empathy for the women’s experiences, and motivated her desire to do something about it. “I felt I had to help them,” she says. “We needed to make a difference in our community and set an example.” By training these women in hairdressing and beauty therapy, Herries empowers them and provides valuable life skills.

The salon has become a safe space for women to break the cycle of drugs. “Since the start of this programme, the change I have seen has been phenomenal,” Herries says. The stylists have remained sober, regained their confidence, and developed a sense of purpose. As a transgender woman, Herries knows that believing in yourself can be the first step towards a happier life. “Being judged for who I am has made me the strong female that I am today,” she says. Herries shows up at her hair salon determined to cut out the scourge of drugs and brush away their damaging effects. She’s creating the kind of beauty that goes beyond looks.