Hairdressers could be useful allies in helping to care of the elderly, according to new research.
Keith Anderson, assistant professor of social work at Ohio State University, led a small study into the close relationships that elderly people often have with their hairdressers and how this could be used in a positive way.
The study indicated that 80 per cent of the stylists tested said that their elderly clients talked to them about their health problems during appointments.
Mr Anderson felt that this put them in a unique position to notice when a person is beginning to suffer from self-neglect, dementia or depression.
"So stylists are in a good position to recognise when things change with a client and when they may need help," he said.
A recent study at the University of Glasgow showed that elderly people found it harder to recognise faces than younger people, as well as having generally slower perception speed.