Barbershop talks aim to improve heart health of East Texans

Barbershop talks aim to improve heart health of East Texans

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Inside Mass Connection barbershop in Tyler, Dr. Takova Wallace-Gay is on a mission to help people live healthier lives.

“It means a ton to me,” Wallace-Gay said.

She talks with customers about their health and takes their blood pressure in the barbershop.

“Men having heart attacks at 42, 39, and it can be prevented is really a big piece of why I do what I do,” Wallace-Gay said.

Wallace-Gay says that by doing this in a place people are used to, it allows for an easier conversation about heart health.

“What I’ve found is that when they’re here they’re actually comfortable talking about it. What they’re not comfortable with is some of the modifications that maybe need to be made in order to help improve their blood pressure,” Wallace-Gay said.

Ken Mass owns Mass Connection barbershop. He says he’s glad to have Wallace-Gay talking with customers.

“It scares everybody. Some people don’t really want to check their blood pressure, they don’t really want to know the truth about their blood pressure, but it’s not a bad thing to know,” Mass said.

According to the American Heart Association, black Americans have a shorter life expectancy due in part to higher rates of heart disease. Wallace-Gay says this is something that needs to be taken seriously for all age groups.

“And then once I check it and kind of explain to them people have heart attacks at this blood pressure and things can happen and even at your young age your blood pressure is elevated. It’s definitely been an eye-opener for some of the people I’ve checked here,” Wallace-Gay said.

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