Stop Holding It in the Salon: Advice from a Longtime Hairdresser About Bladder Basics and More

After a painful muscle spasm due to standing behind the chair, I incorporated physical therapy into my life. I wake up, and hit the yoga mat for twenty minutes, followed by thirty minutes on the treadmill, or if it’s early morning, a brisk stroll through downtown Tucson and I lift light weights at the downtown YMCA two days a week. I keep each session simple. I always fail when I aim for lofty exercise goals. None of the segments-- yoga, walking or weights, take up more than thirty minutes of my time. Part of my new routine is to drink more water. I quickly discovered the continuous chugging on my water bottle required me to empty my bladder too often in the salon.

 Do you, like me, hate excusing yourself when working on a client? I don’t know why I do this. I think I am just trying to get it done without interruption. In spite of my body signaling code red, I will hang in there until I finish those foils, hoping that when I do have three minutes and run to the restroom, the door isn’t locked. Many narrow escapes made me think about our collective salon professional bladders and the abuse we put them through. Listen up, because an ounce of prevention can save you from more dire consequences.

 The habit we salon professionals have of holding our pee can have grave consequences. Those periods of retention can produce severe urinary infections, bacterial infections that affect the urinary tract. This occurs due to the germs present in urine that have been sitting too long in the bladder. Holding your urine allows bacteria to make their way into the urinary tract. About fifty percent of women will have a UTI.

Your bladder is not a swimming pool. It is only capable of holding so much — roughly two cups of water (16 ounces) — comfortably. Turns out, the more you put off emptying your bladder, the more it stretches out, and once the bladder stretches, your brain loses its ability to know when you have to go. That critical message your bladder sends to your brain when it is time to go can go unnoticed. Which means you could actually pee your pants! Lovely.

The Kidney and Urology Foundation says if urine travels back up the tubes that connect your bladder to your kidneys, it can cause infections and kidney damage. Not only do you cause yourself discomfort by holding in your urine, but the muscle doing all the work can end up staying permanently clenched.  

 Want to go less? Try reducing caffeine and irritants including acidic fruits and juices, carbonated beverages, spicy foods and artificial sweeteners like saccharine and aspartame.

  I thought I was done with potty training, but apparently, I must re-focus myself to heed nature’s call immediately-- in spite of our crazy schedules.

Of course, there is always Pampers.


 Carlos Valenzuela has forty-plus years experience in the beauty education industry as an international consultant, trainer, author and entrepreneur. He holds a Masters in International Management, and originally trained in London, and Chicago with Pivot Point International. Carlos’s  educational program, iFabulous Salon Success guides new salon professionals to attaining successful careers in the salon industry.


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