Working with licensed cosmetologists to promote health: results from the North Carolina BEAUTY and Health Pilot Study.
BACKGROUND: Beauty salons are located in all communities and represent a promising channel for delivering health promotion programs. No previous salon-based health promotion program has assessed the needs, interests, and preferences of licensed cosmetologists about sharing health information with their clients. METHODS: Licensed cosmetologists in one town completed a mailed survey assessing (1) health topics typically discussed with clients, (2) interest in delivering messages about beauty and health, and (3) preferred methods for learning about and sharing health information with their clients. RESULTS: The average cosmetologist sees 47 clients per week and spends 30-60 min per appointment. Eighty-two percent report that they are interested in talking about health with their clients. Most cosmetologists already discuss a wide range of health topics with their clients and are most comfortable discussing healthy eating (65.3%), physical activity (63.3%), and dieting (63.3%). Cosmetologists preferred reading pamphlets (55.1%) and watching educational videos (46.9%) to learn about beauty and health. Distributing pamphlets (69.4%), talking with clients (61.2%), and placing posters/mirror stickers in the salons (59.2%) were the methods cosmetologists most preferred for sharing health information with their clients. CONCLUSIONS: Licensed cosmetologists are in a unique position to serve as "natural helpers" by delivering health messages to their clients and reinforcing those messages over time. Partnerships with licensed cosmetologists should be developed to deliver salon-based health promotion programs.
Linnan, LA; Kim, AE; Wasilewski, Y; Lee, AM; Yang, J; Solomon, F
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