The Hair Project is a tribute to Douglas Buggs, a talented hairstylist and aspiring entrepreneur who was trained in New York City under a Japanese Master Stylist at Hairmates Group. He was dedicated to his craft and always took every opportunity to excel. His mission was to help others through generosity, a loving spirit, wisdom, and courage. These values will continue to guide the project in his honor.
In the United States, discrimination based on hair texture is a form of social injustice that has been predominantly experienced by African Americans. Hair gives people individuality, confidence, opportunities and freedom of expression. It is a power that no one should take away.
Seeing some of the injustice in his life and around the US, I wanted to continue his passion and values to helping others, by promoting healing through self-care and creativity, and a focus on advocating for better mental health care for underserved communities.
Douglas Buggs was born in Dayton, Ohio, but his early childhood was marked by trauma after his mother passed away when he was just 12 years old. Despite this loss, he stepped up to take care of his younger siblings, even taking pride in the responsibility of cooking for them at a young age.
In his 20s, Douglas moved to New York City to pursue his passion for hairstyling but briefly returned to Ohio in his 30s to care for his grandmother and her ailing husband. He loved and cherished his grandmother, remaining close with her even after returning to NYC.
Doug had an outgoing personality and was known for his kindness and generosity, but he also had a strong sense of self and didn’t tolerate any nonsense. He was dedicated to his craft, excelling in everything he did, and had a positive outlook on life that shone through in his bright smile. His mission in life was to help others, and he dedicated his time and talents to that end.
My Name is Edvin and I first met Douglas in New York City in the summer of 2015. We had an instant connection and on our first date, we walked hand in hand for 40 blocks to the restaurant. From then on, we were almost inseparable. At the time, he was attending night school and working at Hairmates salon. I was always in awe of his dedication to perfecting his craft and learning about salon management. He had a strong will and determination. We moved to Ohio together and Douglas drove 12 hours to get to our new home in Dayton without much sleep from the night before.
Throughout our years together, we went on many adventures, exploring new places and cities. Douglas had a kind soul and always took good care of me. He was loving and supportive, leaving me love notes of encouragement every morning. One of our favorite pastime was watching all the primetime Fox cartoons, and Bob’s Burger was Douglas’s favorite. I’m grateful to have found an artist to work on the portraits on this page.
Despite his dedication and hard work, Douglas struggled with his mental health and experienced career setbacks during the Covid pandemic. It was one of the hardest things to experience.
Since Douglas passed away, I have struggled with the different stages of grief. Reflecting on this experience, I realized that there were things I could have done better to support him and take care of myself. The past cannot be changed, but learning about mental health support and self-care has helped me to put this Hair Project together in the hope that it can help others who are going through a similar experience.
Self-care is important to improve mental health and wellness. Learn tips on how to reduce stress naturally. If you feel overwhelmed, please check out the resources below to find low-cost therapy or counseling near you.
Mental health issues affect everyone differently. However, there are many things you can do to help support a loved one going through difficult times. Find out tips you can learn to prepare yourself so you can help someone you love.
We will donate 12.22% of gross Poshmark sales towards mental health charities on 12/22 each year to honor Douglas’s birthday. To raise enough money to create a foundation providing “scholarships” to offer free mental health support for qualified individuals.
Mission: The mission of the African American Male Wellness Agency is to increase the life expectancy of African American men in terms of physical health, mental health, financial health, fatherhood, and research.
Mission: was born from the idea that Black men and boys face unique challenges and stigmatization and therefore need a dedicated space for seeking and finding mental health support. We’ve made it our mission to strip away that stigmatization and ease the process of finding help. By providing targeted resources and a database filled with professionals equipped to support men of color, our users can now obtain the help they need and deserve.
Mission: to remove the barriers that Black people experience getting access to or staying connected with emotional health care and healing. We do this through education, training, advocacy, and the creative arts.