Residents in Rochester and the Finger Lakes region have an opportunity to learn how their health can affect their hair at a free symposium.

The fourth Hair and Health Symposium will take place 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 10 at Rochester Prep High School, located at 14 Mark Street in Rochester. Hosted by a group of barbers and stylists trained as community health educators, the event is sponsored by Common Ground Health, Rochester Regional Health and the Get it Done Initiative.

During the event, attendees will hear from the following speakers:

  • Shimika E. Barrolle, dermatology nurse practitioner with the University of Rochester Medical Center, will talk about the effects of stress on people's skin and scalp. 
  • Sajeena Geevarghese, M.D., Rochester Regional Health oncologist, will talk about how the chemicals in hair products can affect people’s health.
  • Kerry Graff, M.D., family medicine specialist at Rochester Regional Health, will highlight the benefits of a plant-based diet. 
  • Carl Binger, LMHC, clinician with Luminance Mental Health Counseling, will discuss how stress can affect health and cause hair loss. 

“From diet and nutrition to the effects of stress on the scalp and skin, there is a direct link between people’s hair and their health,” said Jackie Dozier, director of community health and well-being at Common Ground Health. “During this symposium, attendees will learn how health affects their hair and hear from barbers and stylists about how they promote health.” 

Whitmore Odonkor of Whitmore's International Barbershop, said, “This year‘s Hair and Health Symposium features a Black dermatology nurse practitioner talking about issues of skin and scalp and an oncologist who will be talking about the dangers of using products that contain chemicals, and undergoing certain chemical hair processes – dangers like Endometriosis, fibrosis and cancers that can be the consequences of using these products and processes over time.”

Pre-registration is required for the free event, which includes a light breakfast and lunch. People can register online at or by calling Jackie Dozier at Common Ground Health at 585.224.3109.