A trip to the hairdresser might be a social outing for women but men tend to just fit in an appointment for a short back and sides when they can. Now though, while women gossip with their stylist men could be receiving health advice from their barber if a government initiative gets the green light.
Men are less likely than women to visit their doctor for health advice, says labour’s health spokeswoman Maggie Mansell who suggested that a haircut could be combined with that service.
Hairdressers often dish out advice when it comes to hair and scalp health or baldness worries, but Councillor Mansell said the barber’s was a good place where information about men’s illnesses, such as prostate or testicular cancer could also be made available.
“Most men visit the barber’s at least twice a year and it is a place where men gather for what can almost be a social occasion,” Cr Mansell said at a meeting of the council’s cabinet during a debate on Croydon’s health needs.
Women regularly visit their doctor for health advice, she said, but men could be missing out on the healthy living message.
“Men don’t do that, so we need to think more creatively about the delivery of health messages to them.”
And it might not be such a bad idea, considering hair and health are closely related. Hair loss or any changes in hair growth patterns for instance, can be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as thyroid disorders, nutritional deficiencies or diabetes.
“When Labour was in power in Croydon we provided training to pharmacists and gave them information on these health issues which they could pass on to their customers,” Cr Mansell said.
“I am not suggesting we train barbers in the same way or allow them to return to their traditional role as surgeons.
“I do, however, believe using them in an information role is something that could be developed.”
Belgravia are currently in the early stages of planning an educational campaign for hairdressers and barbers around the country, to raise awareness about the effective treatments available for hair loss. Jonny Harris, Managing Director of The Belgravia Centre says, “who better to offer advice to somebody with hair loss than their hairdresser! With a bit of education they could be helping a client that might otherwise have been bald a year or two down the line.”
In the meantime, if you’re worried about the state of your health or need some advice, conatct your GP and arrange a standard check-up. If a thinning crown or receding hairline is your concern, contact The Belgravia Centre and find out what’s causing it and what you can do to stop the hair loss.
To arrange a free consultation, call 020 7730 6666 or message the centre for more information. If you don’t have time or can’t make it to the London centre, an online consultation facility is available. Fill in the form as accurately as possible and a hair loss specialist will conduct a thorough analysis and contact you shortly to discuss your condition and treatment options.