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Some Beauty Salons Offer More Than Just Makeovers

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Women go to the beauty salon for a little pampering and good conversation. But at some shops, ladies now get more than just a makeover. They can brush up on valuable medical advice.

Lisa Webb regularly gets pedicures at Mahogany Hair Designs. She said a highlight of her visits is catching up on what is going on.

"We have a lot of discussions about different things whether it's issues of health, marriage, children," she said.

Now, Webb and every other client of the salon can get serious information about health issues. It is one of 62 salons participating in a statewide research project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Researchers are trying to find out if salons are a good place to get health messages to black women, especially messages about cancer.

"Since conversations are going to be included during a visit on health, why not share information that would encourage women to participate in more positive behaviors to promote health and reduce the risk of cancers," project manager Veronica Carlisle said.

According to the

American Cancer Society

, more black women die from cancer than white women. The study will address physical activity, eating fruits and vegetables and maintaining healthy weight. The salons in the study will also have boards set up in its lobbies with information they can take home.

"Some of the salons will receive training of their cosmetologists. Some of the salons will have health magazines mailed to their customers and some will get a combination of both," salon owner Michelle Baldwin said.

The American Cancer Society is funding the project for four years. If you would like information on salons participating in the study, you can call




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