Local barbershops, salons providing education to help curb high - KMOV.com

Local barbershops, salons providing education to help curb high STD rates

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Inside of HairgasmSTL (Credit: KMOV) Inside of HairgasmSTL (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Some barbershops and salons across St. Louis are offering more than just a hair transformation, they’re offering STD and HIV education.

Nearly a dozen shops have a partnership with the St. Louis Health Department in hopes of reducing STD rates in St. Louis.

CDC numbers show St. Louis has one of the highest STD rates in the country.

Public health program representative Brittany Thornton said people don’t like to talk about, but the goal of the “Fade Out Program” is to educate.

Lacrisha Watson, who owns HairgasmSTL in South City, has partnered with the program.

“It is an area where you can reach different people and educate them because a lot of people do talk to their stylists about stuff that’s normally discrete but they confide in us, so I just wanted to take part in that,” said Watson.

She’s been in business for about nine years but recently opened up shop on the Southside.

Thornton said the health department looks at STD and HIV numbers by zip code and selects barbershops and beauty salons based on the data.

“They’re the tastemakers, they’re the trendsetters, and they’re the gatekeepers in the community, they tend to have a natural rapport with clients so it allows us to effectively dissimulate health information in a super organic way,” said Thornton.

With the program, stylists get trained to know how to introduce the topic to their clients. Then shops become distribution centers for safe sex kits.

“It is an area where you can reach different people and educate them because a lot of people do talk to their stylists about stuff that’s normally discrete but they confide in us, so I just wanted to take part in that,” said Watson. 

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