Industry icon Howard Hafetz, CEO of Raylon Corp. in Reading, Pennsylvania, tells us that he’s been appreciating the weekly Healthy Hairdresser e-letters. To contribute to our goal of keeping hairdressers healthy, Hafetz shares his own plea to stylists to make one change to preserve their health: work sitting down.
“I have seen so many hairdressers ‘break down’ over the years,” Hafetz says. “It’s heartbreaking to see talented people forced to give up their career before they want to.”
Hafetz advises hairdressers to take a lesson from another group of professionals who used to stand all day—dentists. “It’s high time that hairdressers learn what dentists learned way back in the ’60s,” he says. “Dentists realized that standing over patients, doing intricate work for long periods of time with their backs arched and arms raised, was just too painful a task for the human body. Many of you weren’t even born yet in the 1960s, so ask your grandparents! They will tell you that dentists always stood at work. Flash forward to 2015, and I don’t think you can find a dentist who that doesn’t spend at least 75% of working time sitting.”
Hairdressers have pushed back on Hafetz’s advice, telling him that they can’t cut and style hair while sitting. If that sounds like you, try it and see whether you can adjust. Hafetz believes that you can do it.
“To really change the paradigm, we need to start in beauty schools teaching students how to use a stool on wheels to roll around,” Hafetz notes. “A good hairdresser can achieve most of what they do by sitting and rolling.” He lists the benefits of sitting while working:
- “You’ll go home at the end of the day a happier, more cheerful person for your loved ones to be around,” Hafetz predicts.
- You’ll find that you can accommodate up to 30% more clients each day.
- You may prolong your career by 10 to 12 years. “Imagine what that means!” Hafetz challenges.
“I have way too many friends who have been forced to sit down because of some horrible illness in their later years,” Hafetz cautions. “That’s hardly the time for an ‘old dog to learn new tricks.’ Young stylists, start a new tradition: sit and roll!”
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