Your hairdresser might just save your life. Indeed, a new Canadian program now trains hairdressers to detect the signs of skin cancer.
A program called Sty-Lives – short for Styling Hair and Saving Lives – was started in Canada by two medical students and the “Save your skin” foundation. This program aims to train hairdressers to identify lesions on the ears, face and scalp of their clients. Kathy Barnard, the founder, assured that “90% of skin cancers are preventable if we detect them early enough.” She herself, a melanoma survivor, said that 70 hair salons across Canada have already signed up for the program.
Free training for hairstylists across Canada
In Canada, nearly 8,700 people would have been diagnosed with melanoma in 2021. So obviously, hairdressers are particularly well placed to detect this very specific cancer and save lives. “Most skin cancers are in the areas of the head, neck, and behind the ear where we don’t usually see — the areas most exposed to the sun,” Kathy Barnard tells the New York Post. “We can see parts of your head that you can’t. When we color, perm or cut, we’re close enough to your scalp to see what’s going on.” All hairdressing professionals in Canada are eligible for training and registration is free.