Jamal Edmonds is more than just a master stylist and salon owner, he is also an advocate for HIV and AIDS awareness. After 20 years in the hair industry, the Capitol Heights, Maryland stylist is well known, having worked with celebrities that include BET executive Debra Lee.
These days he’s using his talent and experience to promote awareness for AIDS and HIV, especially among African-Americans. The issue came to the forefront of his life after a HIV positive diagnosis was given to his best friend five years ago. He has watched his friend’s life change drastically since the diagnosis. Being a gay black male himself, Edmonds understands the importance of raising awareness of these devastating diseases.
Some of the ways Edmonds has reached out to the community include Hairdressers Against AIDS and the AIDS Walk Washington. He also gives talks at schools in the area to stress the importance of spreading awareness. “No other service industry gets to really touch people the way that we do,” said Edmonds.
Another passion of Edmonds’ is helping patients who have been diagnosed with cancer. He believes that hair is especially important to the way women feel about themselves so he is involved with causes that include ZuriWorks Big Chop to Stop Cancer and Locks of Love.
The Big Chop to Stop Cancer was recently promoted at his salons, “Salon Lamaj” and “Lamaj in the City.” The campaign is the only one of its kind that targets African-Americans specifically. The campaign brought woman to his shops to have their hair cut off as a way to show their support to cancer victims who lost their hair. Edmonds also makes and donates wigs to cancer patients.
Edmonds hopes to make a bigger impact in the lives of cancer patients in the future by donating even more wigs.