Friday, November 4, 2005—Researchers from the North Carolina BEAUTY and Health Project conducted an observational study in 10 North Carolina beauty salons to gain insight into naturally occurring conversations between cosmetologists and customers, and to assess features of the salon environment that might be used to inform the development of salon-based health promotion interventions.

Results revealed that the social environment of a salon is a place where cosmetologists and customers talk openly about many subjects, including health. Information, advice, appraisal, humor, and empathy are typically shared in these health conversations. Several features of the physical environment of the salon may be mobilized to support health—access to healthy foods, snacks, and beverages; smoking restrictions; and availability of print or video materials, signs, or displays that include healthy messages. Implications for planning salon-based health promotion interventions—including the training of licensed cosmetologists to deliver health messages—are discussed in light of these findings.

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