“If you’ve chosen to be a hairdresser for your whole career, you’re 100% certain to experience pain in your back, legs, hands, tendons—everywhere,” says Aura Friedman, a stylist at Sally Hershberger Salon Downtown who’s known to her 28,000+ Instagram fans as auracolorist. “I think you should start thinking about this in your 20s.”
In addition to correcting any poor body position, Aura believes that hairdressers should consider taking out insurance to minimize the risk of losing their livelihood. “People should know there are options for hairdressers to take measures in case you can’t work in the salon anymore,” she explains. “You can buy a plan that insures just your hands or one that insures your entire body. You also can add a ‘crisis’ piece in case you’re severely limited.”
The younger you are, the better, Aura says. “You can’t have preexisting issues, so you have to get this insurance before you’ve started seeing a doctor for your wrist, your back or anything else—you cannot have had problems within five years of applying for this insurance. I think it’s really important to do the research and insure yourself.”
Because Aura has suffered from respiratory problems, she believes that good ventilation in the salon is always necessary. Aura recalls earlier in her career working in a busy salon where, with the help of assistants, 30 colorists would each do an average of 20 clients each a day. “There were fans and air-conditioners, but there was nothing to suck out the air,” she reports. “I started getting allergies, wheezing and asthma; I had to start using an inhaler. At first I couldn’t understand what was happening to me. My allergies never went away, but when I left that salon I did get over the asthma. I still take an allergy medicine daily. I wear a mask when I do bleach and tone or color removal. At Sally Hershberger, I do 12-15 clients a day, and the ventilation is better.”
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