For any salon-goer, a parlor doesn’t scream anything beyond style and fashion. Occasionally, an outstanding citizen will go out of his way to tailor the homeless. Still, barbershops are mostly all about the weave — unless you run A New You in L.A. The one-of-a-kind boutique treats its African American customers for high blood pressure, among other trendy services.
“There’s open communication in a barbershop. There’s a relationship, a trust,” said Eric Muhammad, owner of A New You Barbershop, one of the barbers who participated. “We have a lot more influence than just the doctor walking in the door.”
Biologically, black men see higher blood pressure rates, reading spikes up to 130. Prone to strokes and heart attacks, they are often in need of more significant medical attention than others. In cooperation with churches and community groups, A New You is bringing pharmacists into the hair world.
“This is a home run … high-touch medicine,” said one independent expert, Eileen Handberg, a heart researcher at the University of Florida in Gainesville. “Most drug trials only dream about such good results, yet they were achieved in a regular community setting,” she said.
Props, Mr. Muhammad! Never hurts to be cautious around razors.