Faculty Leadership: 
Community Partners: 
Network of Black Barbershops and Salons across state of Maryland and DC.

Additional Faculty LeadershipSandra Quinn, Mary A. Garza, Craig S. Fryer and James Butler, III

Project Goals

  • To develop trusting relationships between the Maryland Center for Health Equity team and owners of African American barbershops and beauty salons to promote wellness in these well established and trusted community institutions.  
  • To provide health education, resources, health screenings, and opportunities to get involved in health research for customers and staff in a network of barbershops and beauty salons.

Service: Provision of health promotion and disease prevention resources, medical screenings for chronic diseases, and recruitment into research, including clinical trials.

Service and Research Activities: 

The HAIR project encompasses a wide-range of health education, research and services, provided through local African American barbershops and beauty salons.

  • Promoting Colorectal Cancer Screening (Research and Service)
  • Health and Wellness Screenings (Service)
  • Sisters Healthy and Physically Empowered (SHAPE) (Research)
  • Public Understanding of Medical Countermeasures in Public Health Emergency (Research)
  • Black Men’s Health Initiative (Research)
  • Flu Vaccine Study (Research)
  • Oral Bacteria Study (Research)

Promoting Colorectal Cancer Screening

With financial support from the Cigna Foundation, we have established a program promoting colorectal cancer screening and increasing awareness about colorectal cancer, a leading cause of disability and premature death in the African American community in the HAIR network shops

Through this funding, we have been able to:

  1. Expand the HAIR network to 8 barbershops and 2 beauty salons
  2. Provide formal training for barbers and stylists to be Lay Health Advocates to promote colorectal cancer screening to their clients.
  3. Train a team of Genetic Counselors to become more culturally confident so they can conduct Family Health Histories (FHH) with people in the HAIR barber shops and beauty salons.
  4. Establish a sustainable model to transform both the barber shops and beauty salons into health promotion and disease prevention venues where medical and public health professionals are invited to deliver life-saving services.

Health and Wellness Screenings

Since February 2015, M-CHE has partnered with Adventist HealthCare’s Center for Health Equity & Wellness (CHEW) to provide blood pressure, carbon monoxide and body composition screenings directly to barbers, stylists and their customers during shop business hours. Between February and October 2015, 209 blood pressure screenings; 156 carbon monoxide screenings; and 63 body composition screenings were conducted by CHEW.

Sisters Healthy and Physically Empowered (SHAPE)

This study aims to describe the health status, health behavior support and the physical activity support networks of African American women. These networks will then be examined to determine if vary by age. Finally, we will assess whether African American women who are active have more supportive physical activity networks compared to women who are less active.

Recruitment for this research project was conducted in the HAIR network barbershops.

Public Understanding of Medical Countermeasures in Public Health Emergency

This pilot study funded by the FDA utilized the HAIR network to recruit participants.  The goal of this project is to explore public understanding of FDA communications and knowledge of FDA terminology and examine public response to research on medical countermeasures in the context of a public health emergency.

Black Men’s Health Initiative (BMH)

The Black Men’s Health Initiative included interviewing Black men to assess their knowledge, attitudes and beliefs toward participation in research, family health, fatherhood, and other topics related to physical and mental health well-being.

Recruitment for this research project was conducted in the HAIR network barbershops.

Flu Vaccine Study

The broad purpose of this study is to uncover new factors responsible for lower immunization rates in African American adults and test the effectiveness of new communication materials to increase routine and emergency immunization.

Recruitment for this research project was conducted in the HAIR network barbershops.

Oral Bacteria Study

We teamed up with an external team of researchers within our School of Public Health to implement a study examining the differences in levels of oral bacteria between tobacco users and non-tobacco users.

Recruitment for this research project was conducted in the HAIR network barbershops.

Student Training Opportunities: 

There are many opportunities for student involvement. Please see the HAIR webpage for more in-depth information.

Funding:

Funding is provided in part by the Center of Excellence on Race, Ethnicity and Health Disparities Research grant award (NIH-NIMHD award 1 P20 MD006737-01) and the CIGNA Foundation.