Outside of churches, barbershops and beauty salons are the bastion for the Black/African-American community because of their established authenticity and credibility.
Within these establishments, everything from A to Z is covered through in-depth conversations, lively debate, and banter between all ages. Conversely, necessary information is gathered and shared with all by relaying common experiences among a trusted group of people—like family.
Because of that trust and familiarity, health outreach programs targeting Black men are using Black barbershops as a vehicle to promote health and wellness education.
Across the nation, varying outreach programs utilizing Black barbershops have made health care access more comfortable and accessible. They have encouraged participants to change their behavior and adopt healthier habits regarding exercise and nutrition. Efforts have made positive strides in communities that traditionally don’t use the health care system to manage chronic conditions. For instance, screenings for high blood pressure, diabetes, and H.I.V. can all be performed before or after a cut and shave.
Their success and efforts have made a difference because many Black men will visit a barbershop more frequently than a doctor’s office or health clinic.
In California, both health care providers and barbers are licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ boards and bureaus; to verify a professional’s license, visit https://search.dca.ca.gov.