Being a hairdresser is an extremely rewarding job. It is a highly creative and highly hands-on career compared to many others. The upside to this can also be a downside for some, as it can take a toll on your body. Apart from practicing the perfect weight line or color application, hairdressers also need to practice the correct posture to cut down on fatigue, strain and even injury. This is where ergonomics - the design of tools to perfect angles and the weight of your tools can come into play. “Ergonomics might not seem like the most exciting topic, but learning how to take care of your body so you can have a sustainable career is probably one of the most important things a stylist needs to know,” explains Andrew Carruthers, Education Director for Sam Villa Professional. In this video, Andrew dives deep into ergonomics for hairdressers, including hand exercises for mastering shear control and how to release body stress.
Tips for Ergonomics in Hairdressing
- Practice Equal Pressure on Your Feet - The #1 thing every stylist should do each day is to practice a natural, neutral foot position to make sure there’s equal pressure from the big toes to the back corner of the heel and from pinky toes to the opposite back corner of the heel. Andrew suggestions letting the weight of the body sink in order to soften and create a grounded sensation for a solid standing foundation. This is important because what happens at the feet translates all the way to the top of your head, affecting your entire body. If your weight shifts forward, the lower back is compromised and many things can tip the scale. Remember, your feet have to move as you do hair – over direction comes from your feet, but they must move consistently and be balanced for predictable results and a healthy career.
- Look at How You Hold Shears - Shears play a major role in body placement because they determine where finger, wrist, elbow and shoulders are positioned. The great thing about Sam Villa Shears’ is the forward set thumb position, it's a game-changer. It allows your elbows to shift downward and keeps hands in a more natural position, therefore eliminating neck and shoulder pain for comfort and longevity behind the chair.
- Be Aware of Carpal Tunnel – Repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome are common among hairdressers, but before turning to surgery, have a doctor/physical therapist check your neck – 60% to 70% of the time, the issue originates there. Many stylists hang their heads down and forward all day causing disks to slip, this puts pressure on nerves in the neck that travel down the arm to the elbow and wrist. Physical therapy can often be a less evasive treatment.
“Old habits can be hard to break, but it’s so worth it to know the proper body position, as well as the best tools to use to decrease pain for a happier and longer career,” adds Carruthers. To learn more about how the right tools can extend the life of your career, read this article all about Sam Villa Professional Shears.
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