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Citizen Science Zurich

Hair SALON project


Hair salons may offer a safe community space to engage young women and address barriers related to sexual and reproductive health (SRH). In settings such as Lesotho (Southern Africa), where young women face enormous SRH challenges, innovative and accessible spaces besides traditional health facility settings are urgently needed. HIV- and pregnancy-related complications are still the leading cause of death among young women in high HIV prevalence settings in sub-Saharan Africa. While the needs may be different in Switzerland, Black hair salons may likewise offer a unique venue to address key health issues.

About the project

However, no data exists from Lesotho nor Switzerland. We plan a cross-sectional survey – designed together with citizen scientists – in Lesotho and smaller survey in Switzerland to gather data on offering SRH services in hair salons.

We aim to assess acceptability and feasibility of promoting SRH services (e.g., family planning, HIV/STI prevention) in hair salons, explore the role of stylists, and compare the findings, including the citizen scientist approach itself, between the two settings. Follow-up plans include a multi-country cluster-randomized trial.

Invovlement of citizen scientists

We will apply a Citizen Science, co-created project approach. Two lead citizen scientists (Black hair salon experts) are part of the research team, a citizen scientist working group will be regularly consulted, and the ca. 100 individual citizen scientists (hair salon stylists) will collect the main data in a decentralized manner.

Weiterführende Informationen

Contact & Website

Alain Amstutz, MD PhD
CLEAR Methods Center
University of Basel


News: A Safe Space for Delicate Topics

The University of Zurich highlights and portrays the project in an exciting article.

To the article

Epidemiology, Biostatistics & Prevention Institute (EBPI), University of Zurich

Division of Clinical Epidemiology (ClinEpi), University Hospital Basel and University of Basel

The HUB, Lesotho