This is timely! Just as here at MODERN SALON’s Healthy Hairdresser we are beginning to release the findings of our groundbreaking survey on the health habits and concerns of hairdressers, NPR has begun a nationwide conversation on one important health topic—stress. In preparation for its two-week series of stories about stress in America to be aired on the radio and posted online, NPR conducted a poll of 2,500 adults. That research conveniently provides a way for us to compare general population statistics with what we’ve learned about hairdressers.

Stress: How Our Industry Compares with America

In the Healthy Hairdresser research that we conducted in cooperation with City of Hope, just about all hairdressers report having some stress in their lives. The biggest chunk—nearly 42 percent—gauged their stress level right in the middle, at #3 on a scale of 1 to 5. In percentage of all respondents to the question, the full results are:

1 (high stress) 11.1%
2 24.2%
3 41.6%
4 18.6%
5 (no stress) 4.5%

The NPR poll posed the question a little differently, asking respondents whether they’d had a major stressful event during the past year. The yes/no was split just about in half, with 49 percent reporting a stressful event within that time frame. Of those, 43 percent linked their major stressful event to health, including 27 percent citing illness and disease and 16 tying the source of their stress to the death of a loved one. The remainder attributed their stressful events to work (13 percent), family or relationship problems (15 percent) and other life changes (9 percent).

NPR also asked about the most recent month and tried to establish a “good stress” category as well. When asked whether they had either type of stress in the past month, 14 percent said they experienced no stress at all, compared with only 4.5 percent of hairdressers who felt that way. You’re probably not surprised that hairdressers are less likely than other people to be living stress-free.