“We meet them where they are:” Black salon health program provides screening and education for clients


Getting your hair done at a Black salon is a complex process that often lasts hours and is filled with conversation and laughter.

Every person sitting under the dryer or waiting for a silk press has a story to tell, just like customer Jewel Worrell.

“I’m a former New Yorker,” she explained. “I like pizza, Chinese food, and bagels.”

And Worrell says she didn’t know she had high blood pressure until she met Dr. Terri Richardson in a lounge chair.

“When I first met her, it made me think about what I should do and how I should move forward medically and things I should discuss with my doctor,” he said.

For the past 11 years, Richardson has helped African American communities address health issues, including mental health, with the Salon Health Program through the Colorado Black Health Collaborative.

She and her staff help give basic checkups and education to every person in the store. She partnered with Denver hair salons and barbershops throughout Colfax and surrounding areas to make that happen.



“Customers really think it’s a great place to come and meet them where they are,” Richardson said. “It’s extremely rewarding. I’d rather be in this space than in the office.”

Winning Coiffures, a hair salon in the 6000 block of Colfax, is one of 14 participating stores.

“With their arrival, we have experienced doctors, registered nurses and nurses who come in and can give advice if they need it,” said owner Rosalyn Redwine. “People are afraid of knowing their numbers. That’s what keeps us alive, knowing our numbers.”

Additionally, Robinson provides hairstylists and barbers with tools to help clients advocate for themselves.

“I helped (my client) understand a bit where her stress was coming from and gave her quite a few options to make her feel more relaxed,” said hairstylist Rena Redwine. “I did a breathing exercise with her. She didn’t like it very much, but she did enjoy it.”

Just down the road, Mykhal Goodloe, principal owner of Hollywood’s Barber Shop, can attest to how empowering the show has been for visitors. He sees people leave not only looking good but also feeling good.



“We’ve had people who were on the brink of a stroke and were able to receive that blessing at that point,” Goodloe said. “I also think mental health is rampant in the black community. I feel like everyone has a little bit of PTSD after the last two years. There are so many things they want to talk about, they feel comfortable with us, and we can help them relax.”

He continued: “There are so many people who don’t have health care, so everyone wins. Resources are the key.”

For more information or to go through a check yourself, head here: https://bit.ly/3WQR8x6


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