Image courtesy of Mitchell’s Salon and Spa.
Image courtesy of Mitchell’s Salon and Spa.

At this busy time of year when hairdressers feel stretched in all directions, we’re inviting you this month to participate in the December Healthy Hairdresser Challenge, "Stretch, Rest, Protect," and tell us how you stretch or rest to protect yourself against injury and burnout. In just the first week, you've already shared some great ideas—head to toe!


Join the chorus, take the Challenge and describe your healthy stretch! You could be one of 31 participants chosen to win a pair of ergonomic Union Station Shears from this month’s sponsor, Fromm. Meanwhile, here’s just a sample of what our Healthy Hairdressers are doing this month to stay healthy.


I lock my hands behind my back. While straightening my arms, I am pushing my chest out forward. It really helps the shoulder blades.—Lisa R.


Taking the time to do calf raises to assist circulation in my legs helps prevent fatigue and, over time, prevents the development of spider veins.—Steven C.


I do squats behind the chair to keep my knees from getting too tight. On my off-hours, I ride a stationary bike and lift weights sitting on the edge of my bed watching a movie.—Chelsea R.


I do hand flexes periodically throughout the day so my hands don’t tighten up so much. By bending one hand back, pressing down on my fingers with the other hand and resisting with my fingers, my hands are relieved of so much tension. I also lock my fingers behind my back and bend over, letting my hands hang over my head for a nice back of my arms stretch. Feels so good!—Becky S.


Instead of fitting in clients during another client’s processing time, I take that time for myself to use the bathroom ( priorities!), return texts/calls for appointments, grab a snack and drink a bottle of water. Water is now my beverage of choice, and it amazes me how refreshed I feel after drinking an icy bottle. Better than that, my skin is no longer broken out or dry and flaky.—Margaret H.


I take a break outside to clear my mind. Standing with my feet apart and legs straight, I bend down and touch the ground with my hands and walk it out forward and back again. This stretches my hands and my back, and I feel completely refreshed!—Barney L.


I stretch my chest in a doorway. I hold the door jambs on each side, stand up straight and lean forward, positioning my hands at three levels—high, straight out and low. We spend so much time with our arms forward that we need to stretch the opposite way to counteract that.—Karen R.


I take about two minutes and do 3-5 jumping jacks. Then I touch my toes, stretch to each side and roll my neck.—Holly S.


The soup can dump: I extend my arms to my front as if I were holding two soups cans and then motion as if I were dumping them both out. I do 50 of these a few times a day. It helps me get through thick hair during blowouts and full-head highlights.—Sherice Z.


I take what I call “Hot Laps”—a couple of laps around the salon to stretch out my legs and get the blood pumping! I do this several times during the day. If I can get out for longer, there is a walking path around our salon.—Gerri Lynn G.



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