Dangerous Barbers and the Dandruff Scam

709 views | Dr. Biodun Ogungbo | August 13, 2019

I went to the barbing saloon recently to get a haircut. Usually, when I go, I take my shaving kit with me and so avoid any risk of catching head lice or even Hepatitis. God forbid! Anyway, that is not the story I want to relate to you. The hair cut was performed efficiently and the barber succeeded in making me handsome (to my amusement).

He then did the following:

First, the barber got a hot wet towel from a small oven in the shop. He then proceeded to slap this hot towel on my head without warning. It was hot enough to make me jump up, slap his hand away and exclaim. Seriously, what has barbing become? Why do I have to go to the shop to get a burn on my recently bald head? There was no communication at all and he did not even check if the temperature was suitable for me.

I supposed he used his own calloused hands to judge the temperature!

He still used it to clean my head, wiping off the bits of hair and then he proceeded to perform a hand massage of my scalp and neck. I thought that was good and I almost fell asleep with the pleasure of it. That was until he put one hand on my head and another under my chin. He was about to twist my neck before I shouted. I was so mad! How dare a barber tries to twist my neck (unsolicited) and without prior warning, as part of the simple act of shaving my head? I admonished him severely and warned him never to do this again.

It is certainly not part of hair cutting and does not take into cognizance the huge risks involved.

For example, I may have a bad neck with cervical spondylosis, or a previous neck operation or even just a weak neck. And apart from being a surgeon who operates on necks, I watch movies where peoples’ necks are twisted leading to their demise. It is believable that the barber could one day, perform this neck twisting act and render his client paralysed or dead.

A N500 hair cut should not send you to the emergency room or the morgue.

This brings me to another point in the hair-cutting industry and this relates to the dandruff scam perpetrated by hairdressers and barbers. Dandruff is not a disease but simply dry scalp. It is dry skin that flakes off the head and is not a problem. It is also not curable.

Since it is not a disease, in the first place!

According to Wikipedia, Dandruff is a common scalp disorder affecting almost half of the population at the post-pubertal age and of any gender and ethnicity. It often causes itching. The severity of dandruff may fluctuate with season as it often worsens in dry weather. Those affected by dandruff find that it can cause social or self-esteem problems, indicating treatment for both psychological and physiological reasons. Most cases of dandruff can be easily treated with specialized shampoos. There is, however, no true cure.

No cure for Dandruff

This is the basis of the scam! When barbers and hairdressers say that you have dandruff and ask if they could treat it for you, they make it sound as if they can make it go away. That the exorbitant price you pay to have your hair washed with shampoo and creamed is justified.

As if once they have done the treatment, it won’t reappear the very next day!

Dry scalp like dry in other parts of the body is part of life and happens to a lot of people. People who use soap a lot and especially in the hot weather we have in Nigeria suffer from dandruff and dry skins. Those who suffer from eczema and allergies perhaps suffer the more. It is no reason to spend your hard-earned money on the scam perpetrated by a big business selling shampoos, lotions and potions purported to cure dandruff.

You may have seen the image of that gorgeous woman on the billboards all over the country selling shampoo for dandruff. No matter how pretty you think she is, remember what she is selling is not a cure for dandruff and all part of the scam. Shampoos, soaps, creams and moisturizers are temporary treatment and not cure for dandruff.

It is part of your makeup and not a condition to worry about at all.

Finally, please be careful at the barber’s shop and even hairdressers. People have been maimed and injured in these places mostly by this trial and error behaviour and barbers especially doing things they feel add quality to the service. But, which may be fairly harmful. Burns, allergic reactions, cuts, rash and transmission of deadly infections are all possible at the hairdresser’s.

Be careful.

NB: Please share your bad or good experiences at the barbers with me. Simply write into the discussion column and let us share the information and advice widely.

Use the hashtag: #badbarbers

Leave a Comment