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A service for global professionals · Tuesday, December 18, 2018 · 471,497,967 Articles · 3+ Million Readers

The Potential of Hairstylists and Barbers to Identify Disorders of Hair Loss and Refer for Medical Treatment

SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine® Article-Scarring Alopecia: The Attitudes, Knowledge, and Referral Patterns of Hair Stylists and Barbers

Training hairdressers in hair loss screening and patient education presents a promising opportunity for early detection and treatment of potentially irreversible hair loss.”
— Julia Accetta, BS
NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES, July 10, 2018 / -- Disorders of hair loss affect a large portion of the population. A group of hair loss disorders known as “scarring alopecia” or scarring hair loss presents a particular challenge to patients and physicians. This type of alopecia, which affects up to 3% of people suffering from hair loss, is associated with inflammation that causes scar tissue to replace hair follicles. This often results in permanent hair loss.

Early diagnosis and treatment by an expert is extremely important in ensuring positive outcomes. However, it is not uncommon for patients with scarring alopecia to have a delayed presentation to medical care, often because they are unaware of the differences between this entity and the more common male- and female-pattern hair loss.

Hairdressers and barbers encounter customers with hair loss on a near-daily basis and thus are uniquely positioned to help identify scarring alopecia early in the disease course. In an article published in SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine®, Julia Accetta, BS, and coauthors from the Department of Dermatology at the Tulane University School of Medicine investigated the knowledge and attitudes of hair stylists with regards to scarring alopecia. Accetta and her team surveyed 118 stylists and found that the majority had been asked by clients to evaluate for hair loss, whereas about half reported routinely referring clients with hair loss to a dermatologist expert. Further, the authors noted that although stylists’ knowledge of scarring hair loss varied, around 80% stated that they would be willing to undergo specific training to allow them to better identify specific hair loss disorders and to discuss this with their clients. According to Accetta, “training hairdressers in hair loss screening and patient education presents a promising opportunity for early detection and treatment of potentially irreversible hair loss.”

SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine® is a peer-reviewed online medical journal that is the official journal of The National Society for Cutaneous Medicine. The mission of SKIN is to provide an enhanced and accelerated route to disseminate new dermatologic knowledge for all aspects of cutaneous disease.

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Link to article

(DOI: 10.25251/skin.2.4.2)

Rachel Evers-Meltzer, MD, MPH
Boston University School of Medicine
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