Healthy Hair Starts With A Healthy Body ®

Healthy Hair logoHealthy Hair Starts with a Healthy Body™ is a community-based lay health education program which was launched in 1999.  Healthy Hair is an innovative program that strives to encourage healthy eating and physical activity, among African American women in Michigan.  The program is comprised of two components: a 30-day intervention (Phase 1) designed to increase clients' awareness of several key health improvement steps and measure their progress toward taking one or more of those steps, and a 90-day intervention (Phase 2) during which 'veteran' Healthy Hair stylists help clients track their progress toward specific health goals.

Healthy Hair lesson pictureThe Healthy Hair, Phase 1 lay health education strategy begins with the NKFM training African American hair stylists in how to discuss nutrition- and physical activity-focused chronic disease prevention strategies with their clients.  The intensive one-day training provides stylists with information about good nutrition and the importance of physical activity, as well as detailed instruction and practice in conducting client "health chats."  The health chat, which is the centerpiece of the stylist-client intervention, involves hair stylists sharing the information they learned at the training with their clients and encouraging them to improve their health by doing one or more of the following:

  • Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables
  • Increase consumption of whole-grain foods
  • Increase consumption of non-fat or low-fat milk or dairy products
  • Engage in regular physical activity
  • Stylists help clients to focus on the healthy lifestyle messages communicated during the health chats combined with educational literature.

When clients return to the salon after approximately one month, stylists have a second health chat with them to re-emphasize the above steps and assess progress to-date.  Clients complete program survey forms at each health chat so the effectiveness of the Healthy Hair intervention can be measured using a pre and post tests.

The Healthy Hair, Phase 2 program builds upon the lay health educator skill sets acquired by stylists during previous Healthy Hair, Phase 1 campaigns.  In Phase 2, 'veteran' Healthy Hair stylists assist their clients with establishing specific healthy lifestyle goals related to nutrition and physical activity. Stylists provide encouragement during a series of four health chats that take place over a three-month period. Program tools that help support clients in achieving their goals include a progress chart, nutrition and physical activity diaries, dry-erase refrigerator calendars, and monthly check-ins with their stylist.  Information provided on the progress charts is analyzed to determine the degree to which clients met their goals.  

For more information on the Healthy Hair program, call the NKFM at 800-482-1455.

Calling All Barbers & Stylists:

HH TrainingWe are always looking for interested stylists and barbers to help us improve the lives and health of our community!

Check back for updates on our next training dates. Until then, you can inquire about the Healthy Hair program in the Detroit area by calling the NKFM-Detroit Branch at 313-259-1574 or in the West Michigan area by calling the NKFM-Grand Rapids Branch at 616-458-9520.

Thank you!

Healthy Recipe: Low Carb Chili

Courtsey of
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 3 hours | Servings: 4 | Difficulty: Easy
A savory beef chili with a hint of sweetness. 

1 quart water
2 lb extra lean ground beef (5% fat)
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
1 tsp ground cumin
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 medium garlic cloves, mashed
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground allspice
6 oz tomato paste
3 bay leaves
4 oz canned mushroom slices, drained
3/4 cup medium green bell peppers, chopped


1. Brown meat, drain off fat.
2. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil.
3. Simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Per Serving 141.2 Calories; Total Carbs: 5.4g; Dietary Fiber: 1.4g; Sugars: 2.8g; Total Fat: 3.8g (1.4g Saturated, 2.4g Unsaturated); Potassium: 166.5mg; Protein: 22.3g; Sodium: 725.6mg

Dietary Exchanges 2 Meat, 1 Vegetable

Healthy Hair Styling Tip

Effective Strategies for Damaged Natural Hair by Susan Walker of DrWalkerWellness
courtesy of

If your hair has extensive damage then you’ll definitely want to implement some effective strategies to improve its health. Since there is no way to really permanently repair damaged areas, preventing further damage and addressing existing issues will enhance the look and condition of your hair. I’ve developed a simple 3-step program to successfully accomplish this.damaged hair
1. Remove
This goes without saying. If what you’re doing right now is contributing negatively to the state of your hair then either stop or reduce the frequency with which you are doing it. If you’re wearing your hair in tight ponytails as your go-to style and your hairline is non-existent as a result then you’ll need to find another style. If you’re cleansing your hair with a shampoo that contains harsh sulfates then you’ll need to improve your choice of cleansers. Examine any physical manipulation or chemical processing that is part of your hair care regimen that is contributing to increased damage.

2. Repair
Conditioning is going to be the cornerstone of your program. Conditioners play key roles in enhancing the look and feel of damaged hair. If your hair is dry and brittle then a deep conditioner is your best friend. Intense conditioners that are penetrating are able to enter the hair shaft and deposit proteins and moisturizing agents to assist with repairing damaged areas and hydrate the hair. They can also deposit oils onto the hair or within the hair. Coconut oil is a great oil to look for in a deep conditioner since it can penetrate into the hair shaft and prevent protein loss from the hair. These conditioners are usually left on the hair for 20-30 minutes and can be used with heat for deeper penetration. These should be used every 1-2 weeks for optimal results. For severely damaged hair a reconstructor may be needed, especially if the hair is breaking and has lost elasticity. These types of conditioners contain proteins of different molecular weights to fill in cracks in damaged areas on and within the hair shaft. Protein is not your enemy! You do need it in appropriate amounts to provide support and strength to the hair. Monthly reconstructive treatments (if necessary) combined with weekly deep conditioning should effectively improve the condition of your hair.

3. Replenish
Moisture is a curly girl’s best friend and after deep conditioning and reconstructive treatments, an effective moisturizer is extremely important. Moisturizers hydrate dry brittle hair and correct moisture imbalances. If hair is dry and brittle then it’s desperately in need of hydration. It’s imperative that lost moisture is replenished in order to minimize damage due to dryness and prevent future occurrences. Water-based products will hydrate the hair and oils can be used to seal in the moisture and replace any lipids that have been removed from the hair from the overuse of sodium lauryl sulfate based shampoos or heat.

Okay now you’re on your way to improving your hair’s condition and having healthier looking 

Exercise Tips for Women

You can get your workout at home while the temperatures are frigid outside—here is one that resembles step aerobics. Start small—you can use the stairs in your home for a great cardio workout (step aerobics)

Begin on the bottom step—raise the right foot to the next step—then take the left foot up –so both feet are side by side. Then take the right foot down to the original position and the left foot follows.  Place your hands on the hand rail(s) for stability.

Put on a song that you like with a moderate beat and follow the speed of the music…right foot –then left.  Start with 5 minutes then increase by 5 minute intervals.  If you increase your speed, you are increasing your calorie burn.  Please go at your own pace—let the music determine your pace….higher for cardio –lower to cool down.  

Don’t exceed one hour.  Remember to stretch and cool down.  If you suffer from knee problems –don’t exceed 15 minutes.  

What are Healthy Hair Starts with a Healthy Body & Dodge the Punch?

The Healthy Hair Starts with a Healthy Body and Dodge the Punch programs are community based initiatives that target African-American men and women who are disproportionately affected with chronic kidney disease. The program provides one-day training for stylists and barbers to educate them about kidney disease and the primary contributors, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. After completion of the training, stylists and barbers are prepared to talk with their clients about healthy lifestyle changes and risk factors for chronic kidney disease.

What is the targeted impact of these programs on the community?

To prevent kidney disease by educating the community on the benefits of good nutrition and physical activity.. In addition, the programs facilitate positive lifestyle changes within the community; having reached 7,272 individuals since 1999.

How do I (stylist/barber) qualify to participate?

  • Contact the NKFM branch office closest to you:    
    Detroit: 313-259-1574    
    Flint: 810-232-0522    
    Grand Rapids: 616-458-9520
  • Have an interest in your health and the community you serve
  • Stylists and barbers must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must be a licensed cosmetologist or barber
  • Have not previously participated in the program within the last 12 months. Stylists and barbers are allowed to participate in the Healthy Hair and Dodge the Punch programs once per calendar year.
  • Attend a one-day training held in the community
  • Sign an agreement committing to participate in the program

Where are one-day trainings held?

The trainings are held at NKFM regional branch offices, community centers and salons.

Are there any out-of-pocket expenses?

There are no out-of-pocket costs to you. NKFM will provide you with any information needed to participate in the Healthy Hair and Dodge the Punch programs.

Can I refer other barbers/stylists to participate in Healthy Hair Starts with a Healthy Body?

Yes! By referring a barber or stylist who meets the requirements outlined in Question 3, you are eligible to qualify for referral compensation. The stylist or barber you refer must participate in the Healthy Hair/Dodge the Punch training, complete the program, and produce a minimum of 25 approved client conversation chats. Upon completion of the above, at the end of the campaign, you will receive compensation for the individuals you referred.