A new study suggests that hair dressers can play an important role in helping their clients to stay not only pretty, but healthy, too.

Research featured in the Archives of Dermatology reveals that stylists and barbers have been urging their customers to have moles checked out by a doctor, which can lead to the discovery of cancer. A survey featuring over 200 Houston hair professionals found that 58% of participants had done just that at least once over the course of their career.

NPR’s Shots makes note of the “easy rapport” between hair stylists and clients, which makes it easy for the former to offer advice. Public health officials have long since relied on salon workers to help with health awareness campaigns for mammograms, condom usage, prostate screenings, etc. Many of these programs have taken place in high-risk minority communities, in which clients may be less likely to have adequate health care.

80 percent of common skin cancers occur on the scalp, neck and face which tend to be highly exposed to the sun. Melanomas, the most dangerous skin cancers, tend to be highly fatal on the scalp. You might not want to listen to your hair dresser’s romantic advice, but if she tells you to see a doctor,  you should take her seriously.


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