Simple Tips For Hairdresser Health by Dan BrathwaiteDan Brathwaite is a workplace personal trainer who helps people implement small changes for major gains, whatever their work environment. Lately he's become fascinated with the world of hair, and how hairdressers are five times more likely to deal with certain health issues than the rest of the population.
As a workspace personal trainer I consider myself as someone who's in the feel-good business. I love me job, and as a freelancer, I get to visit different companies and help people get healthier while they work. Do you know who else is in the feel-good business? Hairdressers.
Throughout my work, I'm not telling people to join the gym, or putting them on a fad diet or supplement regime; all I'm doing is giving simple tips on how to help improve physical and mental health at work. Unfortunately for hairdressers, having the time to focus on physical, and more importantly, mental welling, often comes at the bottom of the priorities list.
You wash, blow dry, colour, cut and style our hair, all to make us look and feel great. You even give great conversation while you work your magic! After an incredible session with you, your clients walk out of the salon or leave your chair feeling amazing - feeling good. But what about you?
All of those long hours spent standing can cause problems for your feet, knees and veins. The repetition of intricate tasks can cause pain in your back, shoulders, neck, forearms, wrists and hands. I found it alarming to learn that hairdressers are five times more likely to suffer from musculoskeletal disorders than the general population. The lack of time in between clients can further contribute to you feeling exhausted by the of the day. Oh, and those great conversations you have with your clients? Sometimes their stresses become your stresses. In the long run, this isn't going to help you be the best you can be.
I'm here to tell you that your wellbeing doesn't have to suffer. You can still be the best hairdresser you can be, without compromising your health. Below are three simple tips to make sure you feel as good as you make your clients feel.
1) Keep well hydrated. This is the first thing I say in all my workshops. And I mean mostly water - not coffee - I know how much coffee hairdressers drink! Drinking more water can help with our body composition, brain function, sleep and recovery.
2) Diaphragmatic breathing. Focusing on your breath can do so much to release tension in the body. Get more air into your lungs by inhaling through the nose, contracting your diaphragm and exhaling through your mouth - it works wonders in reducing stress. Give it a try while shaking out your arms and shoulders.
3) Keep moving. I know what you're thinking. You're already on your feet all day, you move enough - but that's not exactly what I mean. Be more mindful with your movements. We all tend to spend too much time in bad positions without even realising. It's time to buck that trend, and become a fidget! Stretch your neck, back and arms in between clients. Do some shoulder and hip circles while checking yourself out in the mirror. Or try my favourite; butt clenching!
Being healthier starts with consistency. All of these tips are starting points that you can introduce into your day - today.
Portrait credit: Charisse Kenion