THORNTON HEATH barbershops are offering free blood pressure tests to customers which could help save their lives while they get a haircut. 

In a UK-first project run by London South Bank University (LSBU), Croydon BME Forum, and children and young people’s mental health charity Off The Record trained eight barbers who have customers in Croydon, Bromley, Lambeth and Southwark to provide on-the-spot blood pressure checks.

The London barbershop health project aims to reach Black and Asian men who have undiagnosed high blood pressure. It is inspired by a successful health project in Los Angeles barbershops which led to 68 per cent of those diagnosed with high blood pressure in barbershops leaving the study with healthy blood pressure levels.

Around 30 per cent of men in the UK currently have high blood pressure, around half of these are not diagnosed or receiving treatment. High blood pressure is the third biggest cause of disease in the UK, leading to heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease costing the NHS £2billion every year. 

The eight London barbers who are providing blood pressure tests in Thornton Heath are: Da Ace Of Fades on London Road and J & D Doyley on Brigstock Road.

Charles Onwuka from Da Ace of Fades barbershop, said, “We’re proud to be one of the eight London barbershops who are giving great haircuts and offering our valued customers on-the-spot blood pressure tests. High blood pressure is a silent killer, it usually doesn’t have symptoms so getting a test from one of the eight London barbershops could save your life.”

In September 1 Croydon’s first ever university campus, LSBU Croydon, will open and will offer a wide range of health and business courses and is aimed at helping to tackle the huge nursing shortage in London and the South East. 

Debi Roberts, Project Coordinator at Croydon BME Forum said, “For the first time in the UK, barbers are offering testing to their customers to find out if they have high blood pressure and giving advice about how to reduce it. But sadly like many businesses over the last year, barbershops are seeing fewer customers as a result of the pandemic. 

“Today we’re calling on Londoners to visit one of the brilliant eight London barbershops who are giving free blood pressure tests. It’s a great way of supporting your local business, getting a great haircut and getting a quick test which could save your life and reduce your chance of a heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.”

The other barber shops giving free blood tests are. The Barber Shop (Croydon), Finishing Touches (Mitcham), Yian the Barber (South Norwood), Cutter Hair Doctor (South Norwood),House of Bertrand (Bromley) and Juls The Hair Klinik (Mitcham).