Eight barber shops in Croydon will offer free blood pressure tests to their clientele in the hopes of diagnosing high blood pressure among men in the borough.

The scheme, which was conceived in April, is a UK first being run by London South Bank University (LSBU), Croydon BME Forum and Off The Record.

The groups helped train up eight barbers who have customers in Croydon, Bromley, Lambeth and Southwark to provide on-the-spot blood pressure checks at their premises as a simple and effective way to look out for more of estimated 30 per cent of men in the UK believed to have high blood pressure and all the associated risks that come with the condition.

LSBU said the London barbershop health project aims to reach Black and Asian men in particular who have undiagnosed high blood pressure.

It was 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 more healthy blood pressure levels.

The eight London barbers who are providing blood pressure tests are:

  • Da Ace Of Fades (Thornton Heath)
  • The Barber Shop (Croydon)
  • Finishing Touches (Mitcham)
  • Yian the Barber (South Norwood)
  • Cutter Hair Doctor (South Norwood)
  • J & D Doyleys (Thornton Heath)
  • House of Bertrand (Bromley)
  • Juls The Hair Klinik (Mitcham)

"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," Charles Onwuka from Da Ace of Fades barbershop said.

"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."

He referenced the fact that high blood pressure in the UK has been calculated as the third biggest cause of disease in the UK, leading to heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease costing the NHS some £2billion every year.

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."