Stylist Gets Credit for Spotting Client’s Melanoma

Dermatologists have been showering praise on hairdressers ever since a story broke about one stylist who alerted a long-time client to a new mole on the top of her head. The client, Eileen Korey of Cleveland, Ohio, told reporters that she never would have noticed the mole underneath her hair if Kari Phillips, a stylist at Ichiban Salon and Spa in Westlake, Ohio, hadn’t pointed it out. Korey was subsequently diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer most curable in the early stages. Korey was very grateful to Phillips.

Your clients can easily miss moles that are neither visible, raised nor painful. It’s a good idea to keep the names of local dermatologists on hand at the salon so you can help clients follow through if you see any suspicious skin lesion. In response to this story, dermatologists have been quoted as saying they get frequent referrals from stylists, colorists, estheticians and massage therapists.

Eyes on Cancer, founded by Paul Mitchell icon Jeanne Braa, trains salon pros in identifying skin cancer on clients. You can take the training very easily online at the Eyes on Cancer website.

Check your own body, too! Specifically regarding melanoma, remember the ABCDE rule: A for asymmetry, B for border irregularity, C for color variations, D for diameter greater than 6 millimeters and E for evolution or change. Practice prevention by:

  • Using body sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher and separate face-targeted sunscreen, making sure to cover the entire eye area.
  • Wearing a hat when you’re outdoors.
  • Wearing sunglasses with 100% UV protection.
  • Covering your skin with lightweight clothing when you’re outside for extended periods of time.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.

Read more about