Hairdressers’ Top 3 Health Concerns

By Rosanne Ullman | 08/07/2014 11:05:00 AM


Which health issues plague hairdressers?

When we tallied up the results of the 2014 MODERN SALON Healthy Hairdresser Survey, the first industry poll of its kind, the top three concerns held no surprises:

1. Weight/nutrition/fitness—affecting 46.84% of respondents.
2. Back or neck problems—affecting 44.61% of respondents.
3. Sore feet or legs—affecting 36.8% of respondents.

The high percentage affected by weight and fitness reflects a universal concern, falling between the general U.S. population percentages of a little more than one-third obese and an estimated two-thirds overweight. The other two issues relate more directly to the salon profession. Hairdressers work standing up, straining the back, neck, legs and feet. You can sit on a stool to cut hair, but much of the styling you do works better when you’re standing, even though that stresses your entire body.











When asked how their current issues would progress as time goes on, respondents seemed most concerned about the career-related problems: 52% of respondents worried about back and neck problems while 39% fretted about sore feet or legs, while a lesser 36% worried that weight, nutrition and fitness would be a future concern.

Although no other ailment came close to those three in percentage of currently affected respondents, the survey revealed that hairdressers are more broadly worried about the future. Most notable, 15% reported a current carpal tunnel issue, but 35% expressed concern about facing a carpal tunnel problem someday. Those who already are dealing with carpal tunnel problems may be included here, worried that their problem will persist or worsen, but that still leaves 20% of respondents who fear developing a carpal tunnel problem. Similarly, while 15% reported having current problems with varicose veins, nearly twice that—29%—worried that they would face that problem in the future.






ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosanne Ullman

Rosanne Ullman, Project Editor | Modern Salon Media

Rosanne has been writing for the salon division of Vance Publishing for more than 30 years, contributing landmark articles ranging from a year-long historical series in the 1990s marking MODERN SALON's 75th anniversary to a more recent, comprehensive tribute to Vidal Sassoon's impact on the industry. She was involved in the conceptual planning for First Chair and has directed several of Modern Salon Media's custom publishing projects. Rosanne holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's famed Medill School and contributes to her community through three elected terms on her local school board.

Rosanne is our go-to provider for Modern Salon Media's Healthy Hairdresser e-newsletter. You can e-mail Rosanne Ullman at


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So. Cal.  |  August, 12, 2014 at 06:36 PM

I've been doing hair for 30+ years. Dreaded also carpal tunnel...but had surgery w xlnt specialist and only out 10 days....and wish I would have done it sooner. I also waited til it became chronic as well as advanced. Hands feel much better now. Surgeon told me that they DO NOT KNOW the cause yet...probably arthritis or another ailment disorder. Also wearing DANSKO shoes leg, hip. Or foot problems!!! They are worth the $$$

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