Hairdressers as lay health workers: Black women’s perspectives on salon health promotion

This article was originally published here

Investigation. 2022 Jan-Dec;59:469580221093183. doi: 10.1177/00469580221093183.


Lay health workers (ASLs) have been effective in promoting health to underserved and vulnerable populations. Hairstylists are well positioned to serve as LHWs in addressing health disparities among black women in the United States. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the extent to which hairstylists influence their black female clients and clients’ preferences for their stylist’s role in the salon. health promotion programming. Eight virtual platform focus groups were conducted with black women (n=39) who receive hair care services from a licensed hairstylist across the United States. Most participants had a college degree (89.8%), health insurance (92.3%), a primary care provider. (89.7%) and the majority had at least one chronic disease (56.4%). Participants reported higher potential for influence related to the level of trust in stylists and for stylists they find reliable and credible. Trust, relatability, and credibility were further determined by racial and gender congruence. Customers surveyed felt that stylists should adopt healthy behaviors and indicated that they might not be receptive to health promotion provided by stylists outside of the context of a connection to hair health. In this sample of well-educated clients, there was an expressed preference for stylists to provide referrals to healthcare professionals or solicit experts for health topics outside the scope of hair care rather than guiding themselves. health promotion efforts. The results of this study may inform the future development of salon-acceptable, stylist-led health promotion programs that pair stylists with health experts to deliver health promotion.

PMID:35418251 | DOI: 10.1177/00469580221093183

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