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Can My Barber Help Me Live Longer?

Up to 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, notes the American Academy of Dermatology.

What’s more, the rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, have increased in recent decades, reports Livestrong’s recent article, “Want to Age Well? Do This the Next Time You Get a Haircut.”

If skin cancer is detected at an early stage, when the cancer cells remain localized to the skin, it can often be cured with a simple procedure like a minor skin surgery or even a prescription cream.

That’s where your hairdresser comes in. In addition to cutting your locks, they can help spot growths on your scalp, ears, or neck.

Your scalp, neck, and ears get extensive exposure to the sun’s UV rays every day. That puts them at high risk for potential skin cancers. However, it’s hard to see these parts of your own body, so a new or unusual growth might go unnoticed for several months.

Hairdressers see our scalps most closely and regularly. They can be the first to spot something growing on these sites.

Since they spend so much time looking at scalps, ears, and necks each day, they often have a keen sense about whether a growth seems out of the ordinary. You can bring up the topic casually at your next haircut.

Before sitting down, let your hairdresser know you’re trying to be more proactive about your skin health. Ask them to let you know if they notice any unusual moles or spots while they wash and cut your hair.

Remember that your hairdresser isn’t a skin expert. However, think of them as an additional tool in your skin cancer prevention tactics arsenal.

They aren’t a substitute for good skin-care habits like wearing sunscreen (and sun-protective clothing) and seeing a dermatologist for an annual skin check.

Reference: Livestrong (June 25, 2023) “Want to Age Well? Do This the Next Time You Get a Haircut”

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