Health

Hair stylists learning signs of skin cancer in their clients

"Skinny on Skin" program helps hair professionals have conversations with clients

EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – On average, a person will see a dermatologist once a year, but a hair professional every six to eight weeks. That is why the Melanoma Foundation of New England developed the "Skinny on Skin" training six years ago with the Harvard School of Public Health.

It focuses on educating salon professionals on how to spot suspicious lesions on clients' skin or scalp. Monday, stylists at Brush Salon in East Longmeadow went through the training. Meghan Rothschild of the Melanoma Foundation of New England told 22News that they also show stylists how to explain the matter to clients.

"What's important about this training is that it really empowers people to be able to have that conversation with the client. You may know that something looks suspicious, but how do you really know how to talk to a client in a comfortable setting?" Rothschild said.

Brush Salon owner Tammy Chamberlain says that they are putting the training into practice.

"If there's anything unusual, we would mention to the client that they should probably get it looked at, or we could even take a photo for them. A ‘skin selfie' is what they're calling it, and that way, they can keep track of what it's looking like if there's any changes,"  Chamberlain said.

The training will be posted online, and will be going national starting in April.


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