Being a hairdresser is an amazing career. You get to spend your days making people feel good about themselves! Unfortunately it is not always all rainbows and butterflies, a hairdresser's working life can be plagued with wrist pain and other arm pains. This is why it is so important that you take the best care of yourself, so you can have a long happy career.
You will hear a lot of information about ergonomic tools and scissors. Let's first dive into what ergonomics is and how it can help.
Simply put, ergonomics is the study of people's efficiency in their workplace. It is the science of increasing efficiency while preventing discomfort. So when we talk about ergonomic tools and scissors we are talking about scissors designed to keep you comfortable and injury free. Your hands and wrists are your most valuable tool ! And we want to help you keep them happy and healthy!
The most common complaint amongst hair stylists is hand and wrist pain. This pain is usually caused by repetitive strain injury. The most common repetitive strain injury a.k.a RSI is carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel is caused by repetitive movements that lead to inflamed wrist tendons. Our wrist is made of a " tunnel" of bones, tendons and nerves. If you are cutting hair all day long you are constantly using those tendons. When they become inflamed they will press on the median nerve, a nerve that runs from your elbow to hand, through your wrist.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can have many warning signs. It can cause wrist and hand pain, strange numbness or tingling in your hands and it can even affect your grip strength. You can relieve symptoms by stretching, resting, massage and physical therapy. Advanced carpal tunnel syndrome can require surgery.
Other causes of wrist and hand pain may be wrist tendonitis. Wrist tendonitis means inflammation of the tendons and is one of the most common overuse injuries. It means swelling of the wrist tendons, causing hand and wrist pain.
The best way to prevent pain and other injuries is to start with an Ergonomic hair cutting scissor. There are a few options available to you.
First is the offset handle. This handle has become the norm these days. The offset handle places the thumb slightly forward and closer to its natural position. This removes any unnecessary stress on the wrist. The original scissor handle was designed to be used with your middle finger and thumb. This handle was notorious for causing long term pain in hairdressers. Hence why the offset handle was invented.
You may also come across crane handle scissors. These scissors are straight blades with a drop handle, bringing the wrist to its most natural position. The straight blade also forces the hairstylist to drop their elbow. This means your elbow is down at your side, helping to prevent stress and injury to your shoulder as well. Most hairdressers do not even realise they are constantly lifting their elbow at or above shoulder height. These repetitive motions can lead to bad posture and pain. The right ergonomic scissor will help you feel comfortable while you cut hair, even during a long, busy day.
Our most ergonomically designed scissor is the swivel scissor. This scissor has been a game changer for repetitive strain injury and carpal tunnel. A swivel scissor has a swivelling thumb hole that can move 180 degrees around. This means that a hair stylist can continue to move their hand, wrists, arm and shoulders into their most comfortable position. This helps to prevent repetitive movement that can lead to numbness weakness and pain.
Now that you have chosen an ergonomic scissor there are other ways you can prevent and reduce pain. It is important to start with a healthy diet. Eating foods that are good and nourishing for your body. Stretching can help as well. If pain continues you can also use anti inflammatory agents to help reduce any swelling in the tendons. A good massage therapist can help to relieve tension, tightness and pain. There are also other alternative therapies such as acupuncture that have shown to help with hand pain and carpal tunnel.
to have a long and happy career. And that starts with your scissors! Luckily we have everything you may need to set yourself up to cut hair safely and happily. Check out all our ergonomic scissorsHERE. If you're still unsure which is best for you, reach out to our friendly customer service and they will give you the inside information on scissor ergonomics, preventing hand and wrist pain and of course, having a long and happy cutting career!