Key Stretches Every Stylist Should Be Doing to Combat Physical Fatigue

Key Stretches Every Stylist Should Be Doing to Combat Physical Fatigue

Stretching For Longevity: Reducing the Wear and Tear Styling Puts On Our Bodies

Is it possible to avoid the toll hairstyling puts on the body? We're no strangers to how physically straining it can be to be on our feet all day. And add in the leaning, reaching, and straining we do in the name of great hair-- it's gnarly.

While it won't fix every ailment, a good stretching routine can help strengthen and repair the muscles we rely on to do our work. And even better? You only need to take 5-10 minutes out of your busy day to squeeze them in. 

What Decades of Styling Can Do

Hairstylists and Colorists as a group are likely to have musculoskeletal disorders as a result of years of standing, posturing, and straining. Back pain in both the lower and upper back is common, as is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from repetitive use injuries in the hands. 

But that doesn't mean other parts of the body are immune-- hairstyling can impact almost any part of your body including:

  • Neck pain/strains
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) 
  • Varicose Veins
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Tendinitis
  • Headaches/Migranes
  • Cramps
  • Stress
  • Fatigue  

How To Reduce Your Risk of Injury

With a few adjustments, you can make a big impact on your health. Let's dive into some ergonomic adjustments first. 

1. Get an anti-fatigue mat to stand on

This is an important investment, and in addition to wearing great supportive shoes-- your feet will thank you for providing a bit of cushion while you stand for a session. 

2. Adjust the chair to bend less

Get in the habit of bringing the client's chair to you, not the other way around. This will help prevent excess bending and posturing that can cause knots or worse. 

3. Take breaks, and stretch when you do 

Taking a seat and before you jump to the next client, following the stretching protocol below. 

The Stretching Protocol

Run through stretches for these areas during your breaks throughout the day to promote good circulation and muscle health. 

1. Gentle Neck Half-Circles

Lower your chin to your chest and gently bring it over the right shoulder, back to center, and to your left shoulder. 

2. Seated Forward Fold

While seated with your feet on the ground hips distance apart, breathe in, and exhale as you lean forward, dropping your head between your knees. Relax into the pose for a few seconds, then lift back up supporting with your core. 

3. Wrist and Finger Stretches

One at a time, stretch your fingers by gently pushing them back against a wall or with your other hand. Do the same for your wrist and add a gentle rotation and a downward stretch as well. 

Finally, when you are done for the day, try lifting your feet above your head for a few seconds while you relax in the evening. Use this time to rotate the ankles as well. This promotes blood flow and can help you shake off a bit of the achey feeling you get from standing all day. 

Taking care of yourself is an invaluable tool that will extend your career longevity and happiness for the future! While you might feel like you're "wasting time" by scheduling breaks and taking a few minutes to stretch-- you're planting a seed for the future that will help you immensely. 


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