23 January 2019

42-year-old hairdresser Erinna Lindfield who works at Jazz Hairdressing in Northampton was trimming her client’s hair when she noticed a mole underneath his left sideburn. Erinna urged Adam Shatford, 54, to have the mole checked by a doctor.

Two hours later Adam went to see a doctor under the advice of Erinna. Days later Adam was diagnosed with stage three melanoma and doctors discovered more cancerous lumps on his forehead. Adam has since been given the all-clear after undergoing surgery to remove the lumps and lymph nodes and has returned to Jazz Hairdressing to thank Erinna for saving his life.

“This story emphasises the vital role stylists, barbers and beauty therapists have in spotting the early signs of skin cancer on clients,” says NHBF chief executive Hilary Hall. “Hairdressers and barbers get to see parts of the body that clients can't easily see for themselves, such as the top of the head, top of the ears or the back of the neck - all of which are likely places for potentially dangerous lumps and bumps to develop.”

Hilary explains, “If you spot a new mole, a change in the size or colour of an existing mole, or a growth or a sore that doesn’t heal, bleeds, crusts or scabs it's worth letting your client know and suggesting that they get it checked by a doctor. Tell them that it could be nothing at all, but it's better to be safe than sorry!”

The NHBF endorses a really useful training course from MASCED (Melanoma and Skin Cancer Early Detection) on how to spot the early signs of cancer.  It's specifically designed for hair and beauty professionals. It takes two hours to complete and costs just £20.  That's a small price to pay for potentially saving lives! www.masced.uk

For further information on how to spot the signs of skin cancer on clients, visit the NHBF’s blog  on the topic.