How a Haircut Could Save Your Life

It’s one thing to achieve medical breakthroughs, but something else entirely to get people to adopt them. Sometimes people will only listen to someone they trust. Like their barber.

That was Michael DeVore’s thinking when he founded  Live Chair Health. He knew there was a high trust factor between barbers and their customers. He also knew there were serious health disparities between African Americans and the population as a whole. So why not take advantage of that trust?

The Live Chair Health program DeVore designed works in two ways. First, it encourages barbers to start a dialogue with their customers, discussing health risks, and educating them about the Live Chair Health app. Enrolling in the app and adopting a more healthy lifestyle, like signing up for health insurance, earns reward points. The reward points can then be applied toward future haircuts.

The need for better health care in the minority community is acute. For example, African Americans have a 1 in 2 chance of being diagnosed with some form of heart disease. “Some loved ones have even lost their lives due to a [health] issue that could have been treated much earlier if they knew about it,” DeVore said. “Discovering health issues early on will allow us to help people be treated effectively and live longer lives.”

The Live Chair Health program also offers enrollees access to free health resources, which “will also help them save money” in the long run, DeVore said. “The intent of this project was always to help people…. I am hoping that we can help millions of minorities connect and reconnect with healthcare providers.”

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