The thing we love about hair is its ability to transform a look, change an attitude, and give a major (and sometimes much needed) confidence boost. Even the smallest of hair tweaks, like a face frame or a quick blunt cut, can have a complete impact on how we feel about our appearance. Celebrity hairstylist and one of our go-to Mane Masters, Andrew Fitzsimons, who works with mega stars like Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, and Shay Mitchell, knows how much beauty affects confidence, and so he conceptualized the Trans Cosmetic Donation Program in partnership with TEEP (the Transgender Economic Empowerment Program) at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
“For years I couldn’t figure out what I could do to help or make a difference, until I was talking to a make up artist friend one day and we were talking about how many high-end products we get sent on almost a daily basis and how most of them go to waste…” Andrew tells us. “It was then that I realized that if we all came together, as beauty professionals and influencers we could not only donate self-care products to people who need them most but also shed light on a marginalized community that could use as many allies as it can get.”
Andrew’s giveback program aims to inspire beauty stylists, influencers, editors and celebrities to donate a portion of the massive amounts of beauty products they receive. Then, the Trans Cosmetic Donation Program distributes them to service organizations that work with marginalized trans women and gender non-conforming people who experience racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia that deprive them of employment, housing, healthcare and other necessities.
“The response has been SO overwhelming!!” Andrew reveals. “I feel really blessed to be surrounded by so many compassionate and inspiring people. Not only do I get to work with Alterna Haircare as their brand ambassador but I also get to partner with them in philanthropic projects like this, which is INVALUABLE. I’m also taken aback by the response by my fellow beauty professionals. It really makes me feel proud to be in an industry that believes in beauty in any form, and rejects intolerance and hatred.”
A cocktail party to launch the Trans Cosmetic Donation Program is taking place on Monday, August 14, 2017, which also happens to be Andrew’s 30th birthday. Andrew was inspired by the work of his best friend and trans activist Janet Mock after reading her first book Redefining Realness, where she illustrates the inequality experienced by trans folk in this country. “[Her book] really made me want to do something, anything, to help bring awareness of the basic needs and lack of protections of the trans community, which is why I am so proud to be partnering with the Trans Economic Empowerment Project at the LA LGBT Center, who are doing some really impactful and inspiring work for the trans community.”