As the Senior Artistic Director for The Salon By InStyle inside JCPenney, Nick Stenson helps set the course for salon direction as well as directing, training and advising the 14,000 JCP stylists and managers at over 900 salons across the country. He’s the Editor in Chief of the salon-exclusive Expert Edge magazine, AND, as if that’s not enough to keep him busy, he is also the host of Live With Nick, a live-streamed broadcast exclusively for beauty professionals, covering topics ranging from how-tos, inspiration, new product launches, social media influencers and subjects most relevant to beauty pros.

On a recent episode, MODERN’s Editor in Chief Alison Alhamed was invited to be a guest to share about MODERN’s Healthy Hairdresser initiative, which helps salon professionals find salon-specific wellness info for body, spirit and business. From the monthly column in the magazine to the Healthy Hairdresser editions of MODERN SALON’s Daily e-letters to articles on MODERN’s website and social media, Healthy Hairdresser is THE community connection to tips, inspiration and tools to help you stay strong.

In the segment, Alhamed’s main focus was how little actions can make a big difference. Together, she and Stenson spotlight stretching, which is particularly beneficial for hairdressers, who stand all day, raise both arms for long periods of time and use hand muscles to grasp shears, irons and blowdryers.

“Doing stretches regularly will make it less likely that you’ll get injured,” says Ashley Hershner, master massage therapist at one of the five Mitchell’s Salon and Spa locations in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area. “You’ll have better circulation, and stretching makes you more aware of your body so that if you have pain, you’ll know how to fix it.”

Hershner inspired MODERN with her six simple stretches that can easily be done in a salon, in the video here, Alhamed and Stenson (and the live audience!) demonstrate some of these simple stretches in the episode above.  

Whether you’re a nail tech gripping a brush to scrub feet or a hairdresser squeezing that flatiron, your hand muscles take a beating. Remember, Hershner told us in the original article that appeared in MODERN SALON, a good pillow is a wise investment to support the neck during sleep, because it’s especially important to get enough rest. “Throughout the day, gravity pinches the discs and squeezes the cartilage together,” she says. “Sleeping relieves that pressure on the discs.”

Healthy Hairdresser focuses on encouraging salon professionals find salon-specific wellness info to sustain your career, find motivation through taking the monthly Healthy Hairdresser Challenge, and share support: Tell your story, take quizzes and more with your peers.