Get ready for an exciting announcement for the melanoma community

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Melanoma Prevention

Mark the SPOT

Mark the SPOT!


In September 2014, the MRF partnered with melanoma patient Mark S. to launch a program designed to create awareness among the hair stylist community about spotting unusual moles or lesions during the routine styling process. Research shows that detecting melanoma when it’s early enough to treat could mean the difference between life and a life-threatening illness. Hair stylists can play a very important role in catching suspicious spots early and recommending that the spot be checked out by a dermatologist.

“My melanoma was caught because my daughter noticed a suspicious-looking spot on my scalp when my hair was wet. I have a full head of hair and it was not easy to see under my hairline. Thanks to my daughter, I made an appointment with a dermatologist and my melanoma was treated quickly. I learned from my experience that early detection of any potential skin cancer threat is SO important. It occurred to me that hair stylists are in a unique position to be able to spot issues early – they are able to see parts of the head we, as clients, never see. I partnered with the MRF to launch this program to empower stylists to flag any new or changing spots with their clients and to suggest to their clients to see a dermatologist – potentially saving their lives.”  – Mark S.

How does the Mark the SPOT! work for participating stylists?

The MRF is proud to announce Mark the SPOT! – an awareness program for the stylist community. Participation in Mark the SPOT! includes the following steps:

Step 1: Watch the Mark the SPOT! introductory video:

Step 2: Read through the Mark the SPOT! Guide for Stylists. Train yourself to keep an eye out for unusual spots on all sections of the client’s scalp, head and ears during the routine styling and cutting process. This can either be done when the hair is wet or while blow drying the hair and applies to both male and female clients.

Step 3: If you notice something suspicious, privately and discreetly mention to the client that a suspicious spot has been noticed.  Example: “I’ve noticed a dark spot on your scalp that you may not be able to see well. You may want to have a dermatologist take a look at it, just to be sure.” The client may need or want you to show them where the spot is. Try to assist them by guiding their hand to the spot or pointing it out with a small mirror.

Step 4: At the client’s request for more information, you may provide the client with our website link (www.melanoma.org/MarktheSPOT) or the Mark the SPOT! Client Handout.

Step 5: Let us know you’re participating so we can add your salon to our list of participating salons! Fill out and return the Mark the SPOT! Sign-Up Form to us at [email protected]. GET STARTED! Begin to look for suspicious spots during your routine washing, cutting and styling process and build the confidence to mention anything suspicious to your clients.

If you SPOT something, say something!

Too often we notice a suspicious spot, mole or lesion on ourselves or someone else, but we hesitate to say something. A new spot, or one that is changing or evolving, should be brought to the attention of a dermatologist. However, it is important to note that most moles are not melanoma.

Additional information:

Awareness Programs Work!

Programs like Mark the SPOT! are making a difference! Watch the educational video that was developed for the December 2017 report published in JAMA Dermatology!