Healthy Hair Starts With A Healthy Body ®

Healthy 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.  

View the Healthy Hair Program Outcomes for 2015. For more information on the Healthy Hair program, call the NKFM at 800-482-1455.

Calling All Barbers & Stylists:

HH TrainingOur next training is on Monday, February 12th from 12pm-4pm in our Detroit office, located at
7800 W Outer Drive, Suite 203. Detroit, MI 48235. Call 313-259-1574 for more information. 

We 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: Chocolate Yogurt Pops

Courtsey of
Healthy frozen treats for the kids and the kid in you! 

8 oz plain nonfat yogurt
3 sugar free hot cocoa packets (1/4 cup) 


  1. In a bowl, thoroughly mix the yogurt and cocoa mix.
  2. Spoon into paper cups and set the cups in a muffin tin. Insert a wooden popsicle stick in the middle of each cup.
  3. Freeze until solid.
  4. To serve, peel away the paper cup and eat at once. 

Additional Information
You can also dip the cups in warm water for a few seconds, and the yogurt pops should “pop” right 

Healthy Hair Styling Tip

The Myth of Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair Growth 
courtesy of

There has been a long standing myth among the natural hair community that the only way to grow long healthy hair is to use protective hairstyles. For those new to the natural hair community, protective styling involves putting your hair into a style that involves tucking your ends away from the atmosphere to protect them from damage whilst your hair grows. The premise is that if the ends of your hair don’t break and your hair continues to grow, then you will achieve longer hair.
This myth is so deeply entrenched in the natural hair community that women will often do back to back protective style for upwards of a year to reach their hair goals. Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of women who have achieved amazing lengths from protective styling, but there are a few women who never yield results from all their efforts. Some of the problems that many women experience are:

  • TANGLING from hair being untouched for long periods of time. This especially occurs in styles that take so long to put in that the mere thought of taking them down after only a few days seems like a waste. Thus, those women decide to leave in those styles for weeks.
  • DRYNESS from hair that is left untouched and uncared for for too long
  • BREAKAGE from over manipulating the hair to create elaborate hairstyle

Contrary to popular belief, protective styling is not necessary for speedy hair growth. Instead low manipulation styles are key. Low manipulation styles, unlike protective hairstyles, do not require that your hair and ends be tucked away for protection. Instead it works on the premise that if you do simple styles and manipulate your hair as little as possible, then you will not do unnecessary damage to your hair and will retain length. These styles are better because:

  • THEY ARE EASIER TO INSTALL. Styles like wash-and-gos and twist/ braid outs are far less taxing on the hair than installing mini twists, extension braids etc. By manipulating the hair less for styling, you minimize the damage to your hair. Before installing a protective style, think about whether the manipulation to install it will cause more damage to your hair than if you just styled it regularly and if its purpose is defeated.
  • IT IS EASIER TO MAINTAIN THE HAIR. The problem with a lot of protective hairstyles is that once installed, women tend to forget that they still have to maintain the hair, especially when it is hidden under wigs or entwined in braids. Also, if the hair is hard to get at, or moisturizing it will ruin the style, many women will opt for style over healthy hair. Low manipulation styles, however, usually do not require that the hair be bound in intricate styles making the hair easier to access.
  • THEY ARE MORE FLEXIBLE. The main gripe with protective styles is that the can become boring after a while. Having your hair in a style for weeks at a time can be a major problem for many of us curlies as most of us suffer from serious cases of hand in hair syndrome. Low manipulation styles however, give curlies the opportunity to vary their styles and avoid becoming bored.

Instead of focusing on the usual protective hairstyles like twists, weaves and wigs, why not try these following styles to reduce manipulation, make accessing and caring for your hair easy and retain length?

  • WASH-AND-GOS: This style can be done several ways, but the most basic way to accomplish this style is to wash and condition your hair and detangle it thoroughly before styling. Once done, a moisturizing conditioner or leave-in or moisturizer can be used depending on your preference. A styler or gel can be layered on top for added hold if necessary. To ensure that you keep your hair healthy while it is styled, make sure you moisturize your hair as much as it needs it.
  • TWIST/BRAID OUTS: This style can be done on freshly cleansed hair or dry hair that has been stretched for added length and volume. After moisturizing, apply your styler of choice and separate your hair into sections and twist or braid it. For added interest, you could put the ends of your hair or the entire length itself on rollers. Once your hair is completely dry, or after some time has passed, unravel and separate the twists gently to hide the parts and increase the volume. The best part about these styles is that you do not need to rewet your hair to restyle. To make the hair pliable enough to detangle, you can either spray it with water or add a good detangling product, then add a styler if necessary and restyle. Also, to maintain your hair's health, make sure you moisturize and seal your hair, especially at the ends.

I know this information may seem confusing and contradictory, especially since this article seems to suggest that all hairstyles are created equally, but if it’s been said once it’s been said many times: you have to do what's best for your hair.
This article merely covers suggestions for an alternative way to maintain your hair’s health if traditional protective styling does not work. Also, please note that a hairstyle itself will not guarantee your hair's health. It must also be in conjunction with good hair care practices, plenty of moisturizing, a standing appointment for good deep conditioning, reduced usage of combs and brushes and minimizing the number of times you style your hair.
As always, I wish you love, peace and curly haired bliss.

Exercise Tips for Women

Make it your own. Consider buying a piece of cardiovascular equipment for your home, such as a treadmill, stationary bicycle, or elliptical machine. Home models can be more reasonable than you think, and you can’t beat the convenience. Keep in mind, though, that cheaper models tend to be less sturdy.

  • Make it fun. Try a new sport like tennis or rollerblading. The more that you enjoy exercise, the more likely you are to stick to it.
  • Make it social. Walk with a friend, your spouse, or your family in the morning or evening.
  • Sign up for a class. Check out the fitness course schedule at your local gym or community center, or the dance or yoga class schedule at a nearby studio. You may find that having the structure of a class helps you learn a new activity and keeps you on track.

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        
    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
  • Attend a half-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 and sign the partnership agreement indicating they will participate. Upon completion of the above, you will receive compensation for the individuals you referred.