A hairdresser is cutting a woman's hair. The woman is looking nervously at the hairdresser's scissors.

Should I Tell My Hairdresser That I Have Hepatitis C?

A great question was posed to our hepatitis C community page recently: "Should I tell my hairdresser about having hepatitis C?"

After really giving this some good thought, I came to this conclusion. I advised this person that learning all they could about hepatitis C would help with confidence when needing to talk with people. Once you can equip yourself with this power and confidence, you can share your diagnosis and be able to answer questions posed to you. There will be many questions, as hep C has been a "hush, hush disease" for so long. In my experience, I have found that few people know how hep C is transmitted and how people can be infected. People have this wild notion that it is "a druggy disease" - one of the individuals I confided in even asked me, "Well, isn’t it a disease gotten by those with crazy parties and multiple sex partners?" NO NO NO, I shared.

We have to educate each other

When I was diagnosed, I knew then I had my work cut-out to help educate those around me, as well as others who had been diagnosed so they too can speak truth about hep C and that it is strictly a disease of blood to blood transmission. When diagnosed, we think about not telling a soul; We close off the world and don't want to share. But as we learn more, and we are in contact with others who potentially can meet our infected blood, it is a good thing to open up.

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A hairdresser is someone that, from time to time, may encounter a cut/blood. Hopefully not on you, as we never want to be nicked, but the possibility is there. With that in mind, by sharing how hep C is transmitted, we not only are informing others, but we are protecting them from others (such as their clients) that might also have hep C.

Your story can help others

In short, the more we share and bring awareness, the more our communities will be protected from being infected. Do not feel that you need to open up immediately or feel pressure to talk about your diagnosis. This comes in time. From experience, we need to process this in our own heads first. Then educate yourself and give your power in your ability to answer questions coming from others. This all comes in time.

Your story is unique, your words you can share will help others. Even if one person is led to be tested by a personal testimonial, we can come closer to elimination of this epidemic.

It does NOT matter how a person contracted hep C - We ALL DESERVE the CURE!

From family to stylists, who have you felt comfortable sharing your diagnosis with?

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