Being a hairdresser and working in your own salon can be hard. Apart from having to finish administrative tasks, you are also obligated to tend to your clients. Most people do this in the starting years of their salon, because their budget is tight and they cannot afford to hire another employee. It’s hard to find the energy and strength needed to get through all of this but, you can do it if you are devoted to your work.
Still, this doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice your health for the sake of your salon. As a hairstylist, you are exposed to dangerous chemical agents that can be found in hair products, conditioners, shampoos and so on. There is also the risk of getting finger or hand injuries due to negligence and exhaustion. This is why you need to take care of certain things before it’s too late and you start to feel the consequences.
There are a lot of dangerous ingredients in conditioners and shampoos that can break down and form carcinogens, or consist carcinogen 1.4 dioxin. Always look at the ingredients when you buy products and avoid these in particular: Formaldehyde, coal tar, TEA, DEA, Laureth compounds, Polysorbates 60 and 80, D&C Red 33.
When you combine these ingredients with hot water, the absorption of contaminants increases. Hair relaxers also contain caustic chemicals such as lye. They are used to straighten the hair and being exposed to them can cause negative physical and biological effects on our body. They mostly enter our body through skin and even through inhalation.
If you are feeling tired, have skin rashes, if you get dehydrated, experience headaches, nausea or depression, these symptoms may well be from exposure to these chemicals. Apart from buying products that don’t contain these ingredients you should also adjust your diet accordingly:
- Lots of fiber
- Drink carrot juice
- Avoid canned food
- Eat organic and fresh vegetables and fruit
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B complex
Strains and exhaustion
A lot of hairstylists suffer from joint, arm or hand pain. The repetitive nature of styling and cutting hair is simply unhealthy. All of this work can lead to joint and muscle stress, which can further cause wrist sprains and strains in elbows, fingers and shoulders. Stylists that stand during most of their working hours put a lot of pressure on their legs and this may lead to them needing varicose vein treatment.
This is why it is important to take necessary measures to reduce all the physical strain during your work. Relax your hands by taking breaks. Adjust client’s chairs so that you don’t have to bend over while you work. Stretch regularly and relax your arms, hands and wrists to avoid cramps. Make sure you are sleeping well and that your body is well rested when you go to work. Hard work combined with lack of sleep or bad sleeping habits are a combination that will cause health problems sooner or later.
You should also wear comfortable clothes for work that do not put pressure to any part of your body, while you are taking care of a client. Most importantly, get a massage at the end of your day to relax your muscles.
In hair salons, there are a lot of slippery surfaces that can be found on the floor: water, hair, conditioners, shampoos, etc. This is why there is a risk of injuries caused by slipping and falling. The first thing you have to do is wear adequate and comfortable shoes that have good traction.
Make sure that your whole work area is frequently cleaned by encouraging constant mopping for spills and sweeping for any hair that might be on the floor. You should also enforce a work policy that encourages people to store all electrical devices and take them out only when they need to use them. Cords are barely visible and people can trip on them, which can cause injuries as well.
These are the most important things you should remember. Explain these things to your employees as well, so that you all develop healthy habits in your workplace. You should also avoid mixing different products, as they can cause chemical reactions that might be harmful. Create a professional hair salon environment to protect your health and satisfy your client’s needs.