Programs & Initiatives in Communities - Clipper n' Curls for the Heart

Programs & Initiatives in Communities
Clipper n’ Curls for the Heart

Preventing Heart Disease and Stroke Together

Clippers n’ Curls for the Heart is dedicated to reducing the incidence of heart attack and stroke in African Americans by screening for high blood pressure in Twin Cities barber shops and beauty salons.

Once screened, shop owners educate their clients about blood pressure screening and heart health, and then refer those clients with high blood pressure for follow-up services.

High blood pressure in the African American community

More than 40 percent of non-Hispanic blacks have high blood pressure. If you're African American, there's a good chance that you, a relative or an African American friend has the disease. Not only is HBP more severe in blacks than whites, but it also develops earlier in life.

Bringing health care to the community

Barbers have long been the trusted messengers in the African American community. Because of this, barbershops across the country have become informal health clinics, providing an alternative way to get health care. A barber or stylist is often central to neighborhood conversations, passing along information and ideas in a comfortable, trusted environment. As a part of this project, business owners can be proud to be a critical link in saving lives while giving back to their community.

For the initial project, Clipper n’ Curls strategically chose barber shops and beauty salons based on their established presence in communities that experience the greatest health needs.

  • Pops Barber Shop – pilot participant only
  • Premier Kutz
  • Twin City Cuts
  • The Chiseler
  • Hands on Barber and Beauty
  • MN School of Barbering
  • Moler Barber School
  • Brian D’s Old School Barber
  • HairCut City
  • Xtreme Beauty
  • Fields of Hair
  • Shear Pleasure Salon of Beauty
  • Lexington Hair Shop
  • Wilson Image Barbers – new participant

These barbershops and beauty salons continue to offer blood pressure screenings for their clients. They saw firsthand the lasting impact of blood pressure screenings, education and referrals in improving their clientele’s lives and the health of the community.

Showing success

A blood pressure machine placed at the Moler Barber School caught one student’s high blood pressure, and much more. When trying out the machine, this student found his numbers unusually high. He heeded the warning and scheduled a visit to his clinic. During that visit, he discovered that not only did he have high blood pressure, but he also had diabetes. He immediately received treatment for these conditions.

The results

St. Paul

The St. Paul pilot ran in four shops from April to June 2014. Barbers and beauticians gave their clients blood pressure tracking cards and then recorded the clients’ blood pressure at every visit during the pilot period. Once a client had at least three recorded readings, they could redeem their card for a service discount. The shops collected 71 cards with a total of 173 blood pressure screenings.

The shops also held 17 “Ask the Nurse” sessions. The nurse screened and recorded the blood pressure readings of 96 clients at 12 of these sessions.

Around 6,000 people were indirectly impacted through education, media and barber/beautician conversations.


The Minneapolis pilot ran from May to October 2014 in two barber schools and five barbershops. These shops recorded over 4,300 blood pressures, averaging 117 per month, per location. This program did not track the actual readings nor did they track if a client saw their healthcare provider after they received a reading. Two clients shared their story with either the salon owner or community health worker involved with the program indicating they sought treatment after getting a high blood pressure screening.


Barbers, community partners and clients, gathered in September to evaluate the pilot. The group confirmed that continuing the program is worthwhile with minor changes to improve the relationship between clients, clinics, physicians and barbers/beauticians. To bridge the gap between receiving a borderline-to-high blood pressure screening and seeking medical care needs a more personalized approach.

Next steps

The Minneapolis programs have continued. Funding is currently being sought to address the issues in the program evaluation.

Project partners

  • Southside Community Health Services: Q Health Connections
  • Minnesota Black Nurses Association
  • Minnesota Department of Health
  • American Heart Association
  • Hue-man Partnership Project
  • University of Minnesota-Health Disparities Group
  • Office of Minority & Multicultural Health
  • Open Cities Health Center