For the past several years, barbershops and beauty salons have been a target location for trying to solve health issues within the African American community.
More than just giving out free condoms and brochures on various medical conditions — health organizations are actually traveling from state to state to train barbers and stylist how to educate their clients about HIV, high blood pressure, diabetes, breast cancer, prostate cancer and any other health care disparities that occur within the black community.
Many barbershops and salons are also being used as “clinical facilities” with the complete set-up where nurses come in making themselves readily available to screen clients for various health problems.
It’s true that the hair industry has been looked down on by many for years in terms of decent em
ployment, and it’s a fact that the level of education they receive to become licensed is very underestimated for those that truly have a passion. And for these reasons, I wonder if people actually take the addition of health care in the shop seriously or simply see it as an invasion of privacy at a place where most come to just hang out and be beautified?
Can clients really feel comfortable being educated and screened for breast cancer and other personal related health issues at the same time trying to just relax and have their hair done and maybe even catch up on the latest news and gossip?
In one aspect it’s a great idea to train barbers and stylists more in depth in these areas, because it adds value to their services as a real professional. Many times clients come in and have questions.
But in another aspect, it’s really a question of weather or not “traditional” barbershops and salons should be converted into a place where people come in to have actual health screenings. Speaking for many women in particular, a lot of clients don’t even want to be in a crowd to even have their hair done, let alone a crowd where people “talk” to have a free clinic evaluation.
I’m just saying…. Why not open up more free clinics if money and medical insurance is the issue?