BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- Hair stylists get a close-up view of areas people have a pretty tough time seeing. Some of them are using those views to express health concerns to clients.
"You have a direct view of the back of the neck, behind the ears," said Dr. Antonio D'Aria, internist.
Dr. D'Aria says it's the perfect position to spot a suspicious skin lesion or mole.
"In some cases you might be running your fingers through their hair so you might feel something on their scalp," Dr. D'Aria said.
The staff of Salon Massimo in Branford is getting educated on the tell tale signs of skin cancer.
"Basically any mole where one half is unlike the other half is suspicious," said Dr. D'Aria.
Salon owner Massimo Liguori brought in Dr. D'Aria to speak with the staff.
"Most people see their hairdresser much more often than they see their physicians," Dr. D'Aria said.
There were three incidents at the salon that led to a diagnosis of skin cancer. Two of which involved Liquori's own clients.
"He had a lesion on top of his hair and it didn't look good at all. The skin looked a little burnt up and I recommended that he go see a doctor," said Liquori. "You're just letting them know there's something there, that you as the hair dresser may feel is of concern and hopefully the client will take the next step," said.....
Dr. D'Aria says it's another helping hand, another resource really to help detect a curable cancer if spotted early.
"We've always been checking their scalp and their hair and so on," said Nicole Hatch, hair stylist, "but I've never really paid attention to a change in a mole."
Hatch did pay attention to a concern a client shared with her.
"And in the next appointment she came back in, she had the same pimple and I said that sounded strange to me," Hatch said. "She had it checked out and it ended up being cancer."
An example of how that comfort level between stylist and client can lead to good things.
"If every hair stylist is just more aware to take an extra moment within their consultation and maybe pick out something on one of our clients, we could save lives," said Massimo.
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