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Tips for Correct Body Positioning for the Professional Hairdresser

by Maggie Mulhern | April 23, 2019
Can you spot the right - and WRONG - way to stand when cutting? Andrew Carruthers offers some choices.
Can you spot the right - and WRONG - way to stand when cutting? Andrew Carruthers offers some choices.

Are you in pain at night with funny aches and pains? Are you all twisted up from not standing properly after a full day of applying color or executing the perfect cut? Are you on a first name basis with your Chiropractor?

One of the core principles of the Sam Villa tool and education company is helping hairdressers have a long career free from the repetitive use injuries, aches, and pains normally associated with marathon days at the salon.

According to the Sam Villa experts, the positioning of a stylist’s body in relationship to the haircut not only affects the quality of the end result, but more importantly, how much stress they are putting on muscles and joints to achieve that result. "Healthy body position is a fairly simple goal," says Andrew Carruthers, Sam Villa Education Director. "Stand in a comfortable upright position with shoulders relaxed, head up, and weight balanced between two feet. If stylists are struggling to get their body to cooperate and stand in a more ergonomic position, try working with a physical therapist, Pilates/yoga instructor, or that chiropractor. They can help heal old injuries and build better habits to support a healthy career."

Here Carruthers shares additional tips:

Tips for Correct Body Positioning 

  1. Is your head lined up over your shoulders? Your shoulders over your hips? Your hips over your feet?
    • Often, heads hanging very far forward to get closer to work
    • Another common imbalance is the hips either pushed forward with knees locked or hips pushed back with the shoulders hanging forward
  2. Are you reaching for your sections?
    • Placing your body in a position either right in front of your section or parallel with your section will keep you from leaning and reaching to hold your sections properly. (hand/cutting position can affect this)
    • “Un-stick” your feet. We often get frozen in one place as we work which is also bad for the balance in a haircut! Your feet highly influence the overdirection in your haircut. Where your feet are is where you will naturally want to over direct the hair to. This is a VERY common cause for imbalance within a haircut.
  3. Do you feel cramped as you are cutting?
    • In the attempt to feel like we have control over our sections, we tend to crowd in closer and closer to our guest which results in “t-rex” arms… elbows are pulled in close, shoulders are shrugged with tension, and wrists are bent uncomfortably.
    • Take a small step back and allow the shoulders to relax, the elbows to have a softer bend, and the wrists to straighten out to a more natural position.
  4. Are you crouching or bending over often?
    • Invest in a cutting stool! Many of us were told that sitting down while working is “lazy”… forget that nonsense! Taking care of your body and having a long career is the priority and as long as you are working with intent and purpose, there is nothing lazy about using a cutting stool to support you.
      • Video that supports this point and others above:

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