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Healthy Hairdresser

Shay Dempsey: Fitness Feeds Creativity

Rosanne Ullman | February 14, 2018 | 6:44 AM

At EDEN by Eden Sassoon in West Hollywood, California, the conversation turns to health and fitness nearly as often as it focuses on hair. Owner Eden Sassoon, a longtime fan of yoga and pilates and highly accomplished at both disciplines, grew up in a culture of health mindfulness established by her celebrated father, the late icon Vidal Sassoon. Salon Director Shay Dempsey is a dedicated runner who estimates that he’s competed in at least 20 marathons. Together, they are kicking around the idea of launching an online community for individuals who share their dual passions of hair and fitness.

“We’ve been looking at giving hairdressers an outlet,” explains Dempsey, who also is global artistic director for Sebastian Professional. “Stylists work so hard and often then go home, lie on the couch and have a beer. They don’t take real time for themselves. Hairdressing is a hard game! You start feeling tired and looking older than you should. So we’re thinking of doing a live feed that will start with Eden conducting a yoga class and go straight to a webinar where I will do hair. Eden will jump back in, and we’ll have a discussion focused on the overall wellbeing of the hairdresser. As artistic professionals, we need a clear mind and free spirit to be creative. When I’m stressed, I can’t create. Having a physical outlet lets the creativity shine.”

A native of Ireland, Dempsey set out to locate running trails as soon as he moved to the United States. “Running makes me feel healthy and good about myself,” he says. “I run for my head. Whenever I’m irritable, my wife says, ‘Shay, you need to go for a run!’ I run, and when I come back my head is much better. But you can take any activity—pilates, biking, swimming—and do it for one hour a day.”

Stay tuned! Shay Dempsey and Eden Sassoon will let us know when they’re ready to announce their initiative.

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