When you visit your hair salon, you may be getting more than just a new hairstyle. You may also be getting some valuable information about your overall health. Hairstylists are trained to identify certain conditions of the skin and scalp, and if your stylist notices any abnormalities while washing, combing, or blow-drying your hair, you will likely be informed. If this happens, you should contact your physician for further evaluation and treatment. Here are three things you hairstylist can tell about your health and how he or she identifies them:
Psoriasis or eczema causes round silvery-red plaques to appear on your elbows, knees, arms, scalp, and/or nape of the neck. Your hair stylist will see these plaques and should alert you so that you can set up an appointment with your doctor.
Also, the stylist will make sure that the affected area does not become further irritated by hair dyes, curling irons, dryers, or hair straightening chemicals. While your beautician or barber is unable to give you a definitive diagnosis because this can only be accomplished by a medical doctor, he or she has the training and education to identify areas of the scalp that appear abnormal.
Other problems that your hairstylist may discover are some that are associated with hormonal imbalances. If your scalp is unusually oily, flaky, or dry, the person who does your hair may suspect that you have a thyroid problem or even diabetes. In addition, a dry scalp may also be indicative of seborrhea, dehydration, or even allergies.
If you have any unusual problems with your hair or scalp, discuss them with your stylist at the beginning of your appointment. When you do, the stylist will be better informed and more prepared to be on the lookout for suspicious areas of your head and neck.
A serious health problem that may be discovered by your hairstylist is malignant melanoma. Hairstylists are often the first people to notice abnormal changes in the scalp because they have a better view. Most people do not frequently examine their scalps with mirrors, and because the symptoms of skin cancer can be subtle, they often go unnoticed. If your hairstylist discovers an abnormal lesion on your head, he or she will advise you to see your health care provider for further evaluation.
If your stylist notices an abnormality on your head or neck the next time you visit the hair salon, make an appointment with your family physician or a dermatologist. The sooner problems are recognized and addressed, the less likely you will be to experience complications such as tissue damage, hair loss, rashes, itching, or serious health consequences.