If you’ve been a hairdresser for any length of time at all, chances are you’ve seen Martin Parsons perform at a beauty show. Parsons is a sought-after platform artist who does countless shows, demonstrating his legendary updo’s and other techniques that help stylists to make money every day. Even though you’re mesmerized by his skill as you watch Parsons perform, you can’t help but notice: wow, that very tall guy sure has amazing posture!
Healthy Hairdresser asked our friend Martin to help us all achieve his statuesque look. He told us that, like other kids, his parents had always said, “Stand up straight!” But, unlike the rest of us, Martin took their advice to heart.“I’m a posture fanatic,” Martin admits. (At least we’re not imagining it!) “I find a straight piece of wall and put my back against it for 10 or 15 minutes two or three times a day. I also do stretching, plus I’m a hobby guy so I’m constantly in motion. My shoulders aren’t as straight back as they used to be, but I’m very conscious of standing up straight when I’m on stage and people are looking at me!”
In addition to keeping his back and shoulders aligned, Martin must take excellent care of his health in general in order to stick to his travel-heavy schedule and demanding life.
“I’ve been on the road since 1970,” he says. “Getting on a plane is like taking a taxi to me, but I do suffer from jet lag. I drink water, and I take vitamin D. I think my sense of discipline helps. It’s made an immeasurable difference that I’m not a nightly party type of guy. I don’t drink alcohol at all.”
Still, of course, there are times that Martin isn’t feeling quite up to par. That’s where passion kicks in.
“The people watching me perform don’t care that I’m stuffed up or feeling my arthritis,” Martin says. “When I get on stage, I’m so focused that I’m not stuffed up anymore, and I don’t feel any pain. If you’re creative and you don’t have a goal, you’re just in trouble. You’ll fall below your expectations all the time and experience constant disappointment. But if you have a goal, you have something to work toward. When young people ask me what kind of job to get or how to reach their potential, I say, ‘Go work in the salon and learn from a veteran stylist who can show you how to service people, how to work toward your goals. Don’t just look at what’s new out there. Donate your services to an older hairdresser for a day and do shampoos and watch him or her work. That hairdresser will be thrilled to show you older skills like backcombing—little tricks that have been in the industry and get passed along.”
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