A lifetime of experiences and a deep passion to stand up for people in need led Lorin and Kyle Van Zandt to start MISSIO Hair in 2016.
Lorin began doing hair when she was fifteen years old, and she quickly became passionate about beauty. She soon realized that beauty could be used to help people in need, and she began giving haircuts to the homeless, to those in drug rehab centers, and to refugees from around the world.
Growing up, Kyle’s family worked extensively to alleviate the orphan crisis in eastern Europe following the collapse of communism. While working in the orphanages in Romania as a high schooler, he witnessed a young girl being sold on the side of the road. Although he was not fully aware what was going on at the time, this experience and many more changed his life.
When they got married after college, they were committed to using their gifts to help people and to inspire others to do the same. They both spent time as educators, working for non-profits, and Lorin became a professional hair stylist— working in salons and volunteering her time to serve those in difficult situations.
In 2013, she had the opportunity to work with victims of human trafficking for the first time. Many had just been rescued and were taken to safe places, and Lorin would to go meet them in secure locations. Lorin gave manicures, pedicures, and haircuts to women who didn’t believe they had worth after years of being forced into sex, sold and used as if they were nothing.
However, something as simple as a haircut led to something so big. For the first time in a long time, these women began to open up and began to believe in something new about themselves. Lorin and Kyle, along with the professionals they were working with, realized how important this could be to their overall recovery.
It was in those moments that the vision for MISSIO was born. With a desire to involve as many people to play a role in the fight against human trafficking, they developed hair product with purpose. For three years, they worked with experts on human trafficking prevention (professional counselors, law enforcement officers, lawmakers, prosecutors, local and global non-profits, etc.) to develop three tiers of initiatives.
For nearly a year they worked alongside cosmetics chemists to create stylist-designed and salon-tested hair products that serve as a vehicle for their initiatives:
01 — To educate salons in victim identification
02 — To mobilize stylists in beauty initiatives
03 — To give to non-profit partners
Their double-bottom-line approach is an innovative and effective way the reach customers who want their purchases to matter while unlocking the potential of the beauty industry to directly fight human trafficking.
So far, the response has been overwhelming. Salons are becoming equipped to identify potential victims, stylists are being trained and connected with victims of human trafficking to love, encourage, and remind them of their worth, and MISSIO is being enabled to give to it’s partner non-profits. All of this because of people joining the movement and choosing MISSIO Hair products, and this is just the beginning.
With a background using multiple platforms to serve others, Lorin and Kyle believe that business can be a highly influential vehicle for change and mobilization.
MISSIO Hair is uniquely positioned to help others contribute to the prevention, rescue, and recovery of trafficked victims, all while providing amazing hair products to those who want their purchases to matter. Something as simple as an everyday hair product can contribute to an effective and widespread effort to fight one of the world’s greatest injustices.