The Elmhurst Independent – May 26, 2017
One doesn’t typically think of going to the salon to find about the potential for skin cancer, but it’s an idea that is catching on, and one to which a Lombard salon has subscribed.
18/8 Fine Men’s Salon, located at The Shops on Butterfield, adjacent to the Yorktown Shopping Center, now has stylists who have been certified to recognize the early signs of melanoma.
The stylists, on Tuesday, May 30, will offer a number of amenities in addition to haircuts, such as mini scalp treatments, mini facials and chair massages, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to the American Cancer Society (ACS). May is Melanoma Awareness Month.
Salon owner Kristine Givens explained that 18/8 salons have been partnering with Eyes on Cancer. The nonprofit organization offers training and certification to stylists and at three Paul Mitchell schools—California, New Jersey and Missouri—so the stylists may help detect early signs of skin cancer that they can share with clients.
Givens related how two of her stylists have already been certified for about a year.
“They had told me but I didn’t understand the magnitude of it,” she said.
The owner found out more about Eyes on Cancer because “one of the other locations had some PR related to it.”
And, “18/8 started making us more aware of it,” she added. “They had established a partnership with Eyes on Cancer.”
She remembers thinking, “We need to look into getting the whole salon certified.”
The ACS states that cancer of the skin is “by far the most common of all cancers,” and that roughly 87,110 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed this year—about 52,170 in men and 34,940 in women.
Melanoma rates have been rising over the last 30 years, according to the ACS.
Most cancers of the skin are basal and squamous cell skin cancers, the ACS states, with about 5.4 million cases being diagnosed each year (some people have more than one). Eyes on Cancer works to increase the number of salons whose stylists are trained to see early signs of skin cancer, saying that there are as many as 86,000
salons around the country and over 600,000 beauty professionals.
“Eyes on Cancer 2020 Vision” comes from the fact that 20 percent of Americans will get cancer over their lifetime, and with beauty professionals potentially seeing 120 cases of skin cancer throughout their career, the nonprofit wants to equip 20,000 salons with its skin cancer awareness course by the year 2020.
Right now the immediate goal is to train 10,000 beauty professionals by the end of 2017, and as of press time, the organization has trained 5,725 professionals.
Givens says training stylists to recognize early signs of skin cancer makes sense, and now all of her five stylists have taken the certification course, “to make them aware of the signs of melanoma and what to look for.”
People “don’t really see spots” on their scalp or back of the neck, Givens commented, so the stylists, under the right conditions—such as styling or parting wet hair—”are going to see things you would never see.”
In other words, she elaborated, stylists get more exposure to a person’s scalp from a variety of angles.
“They get a view that most people don’t see,” the owner reiterated.
Givens said that the two previously-certified stylists have had a few instances of noticing suspicious spots and notified the customers, but she doesn’t know the outcome.
Having certified stylists at her 18/8 salon is a mutually-beneficial concept, the owner believes.
“I just thought it was a way to bring additional quality to our guests,” she continued, and at the same time, it serves to “contribute to our community…make our