You’ve been giving us great responses to this month’s Healthy Hairdresser Challenge to stand up to one threatening ache, pain or health issue. If you haven’t shared yet, you have through September 30, and when you participate you’ll be entered to win one of 30 pairs of fashion knee-highs or knee-high toeless compression hosiery from our sponsor, Stand + Deliver, a division of 12 Benefits. This professional brand is dedicated to celebrating salon pros and helping keep them healthy while looking fashionable.
Taking a stand to exercise is cited by many, with participants vowing to lift weights, stretch and add activities like yoga and Pilates. One of our earliest entrants, Mary M., says, “Exercise is so important in this profession. Standing long hours in one place takes a toll on my body, especially my legs. Exercise helps with leg pain and tennis elbow. I will fight the fight to stay healthy so I can continue to do what I love. I think it’s important to stay active so we can stay youthful. Always wear compression hose.”
Eva M. notes, “I have noticed a huge change with wearing flat shoes and going to regular Pilates/yoga classes. Pilates works out every muscle and creates strong core balance. Yoga once a week works to stretch out things like our hip flexers. I also like to get a regular massage, do acupuncture and go to a float tank. All of what I do helps with stress and prevents injury.”
Body position is another hot topic among this month’s Challenge participants, who are promising themselves they’ll shift their weight often and do periodic body checks on posture and wrist position.
Carly S. is concerned about chemicals in the salon. “Anytime a chemical can come into contact with skin,” she says, “I will make sure to wear gloves and always make sure there is proper ventilation so I’m not breathing in toxic, invisible fumes from hair color.”
Nutrition is usually mentioned in our Challenges, and for this one Rutta A. is taking it seriously. “I love this challenge!” she tells us. “I just turned 40 and I feel little aches that weren’t there 5-10 years ago. I, Rutta A., do solemnly swear to make better choices with my diet—eat more veggies and fruit, drink water instead of sodas and juices; I’ve joined the gym and will be going at least 3-4 days a week. I’m going to attempt to get at least two full body massages a month (fingers crossed).”
Rutta explains why standing up to pain is so important for salon pros: “We are so busy taking care of everyone else and loving what we’re doing that we forget that those long hours of standing and working begin to have an effect on our bodies. It’s so subtle that it can take years to notice a little ache here and there, and even then we say, ‘Oh, it’s nothing, I’ll go home and soak in the tub and I’ll be good for tomorrow.’ Instead, it gets worse over time. We have to take care of our body inside and out if we want it to be with us for the long run. Ironically it’s one of the most important relationships in your life—you and your body.”