Atli Mar Hafsteinsson for Getty Images
Atli Mar Hafsteinsson for Getty Images

To end 2016, we issued a December Healthy Hairdresser Challenge that asked: 

What is one simple, basic area of personal wellness you are concentrating on this season (for example, drinking more water, going to bed earlier, avoiding holiday snacks, stretching)? How is this making an impact in body, spirit and/or business?

Denise D. responded by telling us that she is focusing on alleviating her osteoarthritis. “Keeping strong, focusing on strength with rubber bands and simple hand weights and routinely doing physical therapy a little every day is making me more limber and preventing injury,” she wrote in her entry. “I’ve had both of my hips replaced over the course of nine weeks, so I have slowed down to heal and plan to return to the salon on January 30. I have learned to schedule my hours so that I go to bed the same time every night. Sleep, water, exercise and ‘time for self’ to meditate, review goals, relax and have fun are all necessary, as we give so much of ourselves.”

Denise adds a nice compliment to Healthy Hairdresser: “You are doing a great thing by asking these questions, as it may help other professionals take better care of themselves.” We hope so!

The December prize for 15 participants was a special set of professional brushes from Healthy Hairdresser sponsor Pivot Point International. We had many inspiring entries! Here are some of them.

Michele B.Basic cutting. I think over my years of cutting I have learned and tried so many techniques that I have lost some of the basics. I believe regaining those skills will help me be more consistent in my cutting.
Tina G.—Going to bed earlier has helped tremendously, I’m waking up much more energized. It’s hard to always stay on a healthy track, and I think the important thing is not to beat ourselves up when we don't completely stick to it.
Jennifer H.—It is easy for us to fall into lazy body positioning or slumpy posture, but we MUST maintain these for our body and for our final results of our hair design! Also, I am drinking a glass of water every time I get one for a client.
Fran M.—A perfect blow-dry for each client.
Thea D.—I am spending 10 minutes a day reading trade-related material for inspiration and client conversation. I’m also committed to yoga and meditation.
Brandi C.My neck is my trouble area, so I am focused on regularly stretching, using heat at night and seeing my chiropractor more regularly. Taking care of myself has resulted in many more productive work days.
Crystal B.Hand stretches! I started getting tension in my hands and had what I believe were symptoms of tendinitis in both hands, and now I do hand stretches as part of my daily morning gym routine.
Laura W.Communication. This can be the main factor in a client leaving disappointed. I make sure that clients know every bit of work/aftercare involved with a color change.
Alyssa R.Time management! No one wants to sit in your chair and feel like you are rushing.
Joan C.— I am trying to slow down and be a better colorist. My skills are basic, just enough to have gotten by 35 years. With all the new techniques coming out, I don’t want to get left behind.
Kimberly H.—The consultation, actively listening to what my guests want and reiterating what they say, as well as explaining what I am doing during the service. I have found that this is especially helpful with new clients and existing clients who are wanting a change.
Heather H.Giving a really nice massaging shampoo in every service. I place a steamed towel under my guest’s neck and wait for a moment of wellness and relaxation. I’ve received good feedback without asking for it and have found that it’s a great way to retain new clients!
Shannon H.---I pump up the chair instead of having the client down so low that the haircut comes out uneven, and I stretch throughout the day and afterward. My arms and hands don’t hurt, my body isn’t fatigued like it used to be and I have enough energy for that last client of the day!
Amanda G.—Carving out 10 minutes each day to stretch, breathe and be thankful for where I am in life.
Renee J.Cleanliness and caution with tools. Results thus far include less broken skin, burnt skin and both physical and mental irritation.
Susan H.Analyzing the head shape of each guest during the consultation, which helps me know where I need to apply extra focus during the cut. For health, I’m keeping fruit-infused water and dried nuts at my station to enjoy between clients,
Kanako S.Blow-outs. I’ve been practicing with the round brush to create different textures along with volume and movement. I also take 20 minutes during the evening to meditate and reflect on my day.
Demi R.Organizing my station to make me less stressed and focusing on physical therapy techniques to prevent back and shoulder pain from doing blow-dry after blow-dry.
Nate O.—The art of the smile. With a simple smile I appear more confident and easier to communicate with. To improve my wellness, I am avoiding fast food.
Gina W.—Making sure clients have the education they need for every single product I use and how to achieve the style I give them.
Derryl D.Men’s haircutting. I have been to more classes lately and have been inspired by some very talented barbers and the great work they do.
Valencia P.Color correction. I have had a rash of corrective color and have been going over the fundamentals of color and what cancels what. The results have been fantastic. Getting a good night’s rest helps me think better, have more patience and problem-solve.
Marial L.Ergonomic shears, making sure I don’t bend my wrist when I cut hair, stretching between clients, using good posture and holding a light and very quiet blow dryer.
Andrea T.Getting to the salon a half hour early helps me to be prepare for my clients. I go over my schedule to see whether I can add on services to the ticket.

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