Let’s talk about self care as a hairdresser. As we all know, hairdressing takes its toll on our body. The long days and hours spent standing in the same position, or constantly running around the salon to make sure you don’t run late for your appointments. After thinking and rushing and making sure our work is beyond perfect, where do we have time to think about our self-care? We don’t. Especially because the main focus is the client... right?
Well we’re here to tell you to stop! Stop everything you're doing and listen to your body. If you are truly passionate about your career as a hairdresser you need to stop and listen to what your body needs to give you the longevity of your career in hairdressing. Below we have gathered our top 3 self care tips in hairdressing
The most obvious yet easy to forget - Positioning of your body. Where you position your body is everything! Because let's face it, it's so easy to create bad habits, like slouching when foiling hair for an hour at a time or applying colour or blow drying hair. To help prevent sore shoulders, back or neck, always make sure to position your body in front of your work.
Examples of this include the panel of hair you may be foiling, to make sure you are in front of it and not twisting your body. The short concave bob you may be cutting, either pump the chair up so the height is at your eyesight or sit on a stool with your back straight ensuring the client's head is at eye level with you so you’re not having to slouch. When blow drying hair, stand tall with shoulders back again so you’re not slouching. Every now and then you may need to get in that awkward position to get the right angle but once done, be sure to correct yourself once finished.
Get comfortable tools, sounds pretty black and white right? Well not for all, which is where the whole ‘try before you buy’ can come in hand to give you an idea of weight and comfort. If your tools aren’t comfortable to use you will more than likely develop an injury like carpal tunnel or tennis elbow or RSI (repetitive strain injury) for hairdressing nowadays everything is much lighter to hold and use than what it was 10 even 5 years ago.
The lighter the tool the better for you. Hairdryers now come with a much lighter motor so it's not as heavy for your wrist/hand/arm. Along with clippers most clippers come cordless and again a smaller motor yet more powerful again so it's not as heavy for your wrist/hand/arm. Another tool to look into is your scissors; Finding the right pair of scissors for your hands will help with finger placement and comfort of the wrist when cutting which will help prevent RSI in the future.
Hydration and food! How is this not spoken enough about? This is one of the biggest self-care tips! Always make sure you have a bottle of water on hand to take sips throughout the day. Dehydration can happen so quickly, especially in an airconditioned salon. It’s important to stay hydrated to be able to keep focused on your salon activities also seeing as we talk so much throughout the day. Nobody likes a dry mouth when talking! And yes it’s annoying to have to run to the bathroom all the time but it's far better than being dehydrated and wondering why you have such a raging headache at the end of the day.
Now the hard one, food. We don’t always have time to have a break and sit down to eat (Biggest hairdressing game as we know it) but it's so important to eat throughout the day, even if it's just portion size snacks to graze on so you’re not working on an empty stomach. Because hangry is definitely a thing nowadays and it shows in not only our work but our mood too. If we’re not eating when we are meant to, our body then goes into starvation mode and we start to run on adrenaline.
When running on adrenaline it may seem fine at the time but let me tell you… it’s not. It’s the worst thing to come down from as it's so go go go and then when we finish and try to stop our body and mental state is trying to play catch up from the busy day you just had. So keep those snacks and water bottles within reach.
So there we have our top 3 self-care tips for our crazy career that we love so much! Hairdressing isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle that we need to be educated on that extends to more than just colouring or cutting hair but to be looking after ourselves to, because not looking after the number 1 person (you the hairdresser) there is no hairdressers or barbers and what kind of world would that be? Not one we want to be a part of that’s for sure! So keep up your self-care and watch your career grow.