Saving Black Men at the Barbershop

I came across a great article today which found that “After an eight-month, barbershop-based intervention, men with high blood pressure were much more likely to start receiving treatment and to get their blood pressure under control than their peers given standard care, Dr. Paul L. Hess of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and colleagues found.”

I pumped both my fists in the air when I read this article because “the potential public health impact of this community-based research is high, with thousands of black-owned barbershops nationwide.”

The numbers speak for themselves. At the end of the study, “the percentage of men in the enhanced intervention group who were getting treatment for their hypertension rose from 47% to 92%, while the percentage of those with their blood pressure under control increased from 19% to 58%.

Together we need to put pressure that the government and private foundations to put money behind this initiative to expand it across the United States. Can my public health folks provide information as to who the targets should be?

It’s so genius because it is so simple. Whether you are running for President or running from the authorities, barbershops are sanctuaries for Black men. Do you need proof? The article highlights that “while black churches have been used as outreach and blood pressure screening sites, Hess and his team state, ‘regular church attendance is much less common among black men and women.’” That issue is for another post.

Nevertheless, Hess and his team demonstrated that barbers themselves could be trained to deliver the intervention effectively. It makes sense to trust someone with a needle that you can trust with a blade on your face. It’s time to start thinking outside the box. I will keep you posted on any developments related to this study.

Stay up fam,

Brandon Q.


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4 responses to “Saving Black Men at the Barbershop”

  1. super_mujer06 says :

    Yes this is a great public health intervention. I am so happy to see other people take an interest in public health…yey my field is alive. The next step would probably be for the researchers to package their product and spread it to other places. I think it kind of has to start off slow and it can gain momentum as results are reproduced. They do the same with STD/HIV interventions for teen girls. I am glad you got hype B, I am hype too. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Brandon Q. says :

    What’s up Super! Man, I am still excited over this study. From your comment, I surmised that you are in public health. If this is so, how best can we support successful studies like this? Also, are there any other studies that our readersh should be made privy to? Thanks Super,

    Stay up fam,

  3. Garlin II says :

    Before on this site (, we’ve called out groups of Black men who have taken on health awareness head on. I applaud these efforts and pray that they inspire more people to realize that changes can be made by starting with personal relationsips.

  4. Christina says :

    The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan sponsors two programs called Healthy Hair & Dodge the Punch that are aimed at educating hair stylists and barbers to turn beauty and barber shops into health information centers.

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