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Hairdressers: How to Avoid Wrist and Hand Pain

September 25, 2017

It can be the bane of a hairdresser’s working life: dreaded write and hand pain. Most hairdressers experience wrist pain and hand pain at some stage in their careers, but there are some cases in which the pain is indicative of a more serious problem. Sometimes, your wrist pain may worsen, which can point to a problem such as wrist tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. There is a difference between these two conditions despite sharing a common factor, inflamed wrist tendons. That’s why it can be difficult to diagnose because they often share symptoms.

Wrist tendonitis is a type of repetitive strain disorder, which is why it’s a common complaint for  hairdressers. Pain is usually found within the hand, wrist and arm and particularly felt if you put pressure on your arm and run the pressure up and down the length of your arm. Usually, wrist tendonitis means you’ll be very sensitive and the pain flares up when you perform the action that caused the original problem.

Carpal tunnel syndrome involves strange numbness and tingling in your hands and fingers. This feeling usually appears with the any straining of your hand, not just in the repetitive movement of a certain task.

However, your pinky finger is not usually affected. Your hands may feel either too warm or too cold yet. Tingling and numbness will usually wake you at night, with the need to shake out your hands. With more advanced carpal tunnel syndrome, you will lose dexterity and even grip strength. Pain, tingling, and numbness will worsen over time, and not necessarily while you’re doing the activity you do every day.

Give Your Hand a Break

As a hairdresser, there are some ways to prevent pain in your hands. You can start by using your other hand by simply placing the shears in your non-dominant hand to allow your working hand to rest. Can you relax your hands between clients or at different times during the day?

wrist pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, hairdressersYou may also find that crane handle shear will reduce your pain. The crane design will ease pain and fatigue, and they also have an offset design to allow your hand to relax while cutting. You can use the shears with your ring finger keeping most fingers and your thumb calmly relaxed with the shear relaxing against the fatty muscle of your thumb. If you are placing more than the fingertips of your thumb and ring finger into the holes of your shear, the time to change that habit is now! This position forces you to use your entire hand to work the shear. Your thumb is the only finger that should move while cutting, so bring those fingers out so only the tips are in the holes. Keeping only your fingertips in the holes allows for much more movement and rotation of your shear.

 Basic Tips for Reducing Pain

Make sure you get the right size scissors for your hand. You want a pair that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed when you are working.

Always remember to take breaks. We know that breaks are few and far between in most busy salons, but you should always ensure you allow some time for the muscles in your hand and wrist to relax.

Always remember to use your non-dominant hand for other tasks. You do not always have to use your favoured hand to carry out each and every task. Let your other hand carry some of the weight. Some also recommend a healthy diet and making a habit of eating foods known as anti-inflammatory agents. This can allow the swelling in your hands to go down and give you a boost of energy during your work.

If your pain won’t let up, it is always a good idea to visit a doctor or go see a massage therapist to give your hand a stretch. While you work, you should also focus on how to hold your instruments and the best positioning for your hands and body. Don’t be afraid to do some research or seek some help to ensure you lessen the pain. Your hands are an important part in your body, and one of your greatest assets as a hairdresser. Treat your hands like they’re an expensive investment into your business!

There are also basic stretches which can be followed to lessen pain. You can place your fingers at the edge of a ledge and push down, which allows your fingers to stretch. Secondly, place your elbow lower and push against the hand once more to allow a stretch within your wrist. To stretch your thumb, place your thumb at the edge of the ledge and push down, then proceed to roll your thumb from either side. Doing this allows your thumb to be stretched on both sides.

Hairdressing can be tough on your body and can cause pain in some areas. However, taking care of your hands and wrists can prevent long-term pain. If pain continues, ensure you seek medical advice.

If you need crane handle scissors or offset scissors to prevent hand and wrist pain, or to alleviate your symptoms, you’ve come to the right place. We have a huge range of offset scissors and crane handle scissors that will relax your hands and bring joy back into your work.

Make sure you check out our specials today or contact us to find out more information.  

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