The Barbershop & Salon Program
“Hair is tight! Pressure is right!!”
The BBSHOP was started in 2012. Eleven years later, we are proud to say that we have screened nearly 10,000 people for high blood pressure. We started with one shop and now we have fourteen shops. We have some great shops that we are partnering with to improve the health of the our community. The support of the owners and their clients makes our volunteer work easy and extremely rewarding. Our volunteers and students help us to provide this valuable service. The overarching areas of focus for the program are SCREENING, EDUCATION, and REFERRAL. We primarily screen for high blood pressure, using automated cuffs. About 20% of those screened have stage 2 (highest stage) of high blood pressure. Some of the highest blood pressures we have recorded were in the relatively young – early to mid thirties.
We educate the operators and clients. We let them know that hypertension/high blood pressure is a very treatable disease. It can be a silent killer. First, you have to know you gave it. Get your blood pressure checked. Then it needs to be treated. Treatment involves lifestyle changes and many times taking medication.
We refer clients to a health care provider or clinic. If clients don’t have a provider we give them information on private doctors, nurse practitioners, or clinics that they can reach out to. Clients often ask about Black doctors.
Change the Stories around mental health in the Shops!
Project HairCare (PHC) is a new component developed in December 2022. PHC was added to help address mental health challenges that operators note among clients in the shops. For more information go to the PHC website: projecthaircare.com.
Get your Barbershop or Salon Involved!
The Barbershop and Salon Health Outreach Program Toolkit (Toolkit) was a collaborative effort between the Colorado Black Health Collaborative and the Kaiser Permanente African American Center of Excellence (AACE) in 2015. The Toolkit is designed to empower community health workers, clinicians, and volunteers to launch, sustain, and monitor the success of an effective barbershop and salon outreach program. This type of program can cost “dimes” to start and sustain, but there certainly are examples of programs that have had millions dedicated to this worthwhile endeavor.
This how-to- guide:
- Describes the reason for the outreach
- Health Disparities Gives the inside view of the shops
- Culture Reviews the history of health initiatives in shops
- Walks users through the logistics of starting, running, and marketing a program
- Provides volunteer training materials
- Gives pointers on analyzing data, preserving experiences, and creating annual reports
- Provides an ample list of resources and an evaluation