Your cosmetologist career from Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes..........
We are going to cover:
How long do you intend on having a professional cosmetologist career? 5, maybe 10 years? WHAT? You mean to do it many years? Great! Clients need you out here.
I know you are just getting started and all but I have another dose of reality for you. (Don't panic though, remember I provide the helmets)
Having a cosmetologist career takes it's toll on our bodies. If you know a stylist that has been working for 20+ years ask her or him what physical problems they have.
I'll whine for a minute so you don't have to ask.
I have been cutting hair for 12 years! Only 12 years.
Other problems may include varicose veins and other leg issues. Someone tried to show me exercises to prevent carpal tunnel when I first started my cosmetologist career but I didn't give it a second thought.
Like everyone else.......That's never going to happen to ME, right. Bull!
I wasn't invincible and neither are you.
Keep at it long enough and stuff starts happening. However, do as I say, not as I did. There are definitely ways to prevent a lot of debilitating issues from getting you so you can have a long and healthy career.
What brand of shoe is best for a cosmetologist?
How do I counteract the bad body mechanics of a professional hair stylist?
Is there any preventative thing I can wear?
When a cosmetologist career starts the new stylist is excited to be in the salon. That is completely natural. And so is the desire to look good in the salon.
So what happens is newbies get the awesome black boots and stiletto heels to make them look hot. I get it, believe me I do!
I'm just trying to save you some money. There is no way you can stand for 8 hours a day in these shoes. Can you imagine how miserable you will be with your toes hurting, your legs throbbing and having 2 more color services to do before you can even sit down?
Then, shoe inserts.
I have one recommendation myself. It is a brand called Dansko. Dansko's are worn by surgeons, nurses and are the best shoes for professional hair stylists. It's like a brotherhood! Every Dansko wearer is a huge fan because their Dansko shoes saved them from the pain of being on their feet for prolonged periods of time. My doc even wears them!
The majority of their designs are clogs but they have branched out and have some trendier designs as well, like the Ryder shoe above.
The reason they are so awesome is the foot bed. They provide arch support. At first you wonder how on earth these shoes could be so comfortable because the bed is rather hard. But wear them for only a few minutes and you will be amazed.
I will say they are rather pricey. They start around $125. I cringed the first time I bought a pair. I mean $125 for clogs? But after I had the first pair I had to have more. I currently have 4 pair of Dansko's and would buy more if I was in the right climate.
They have some very fun designs that would be great in the salon and enhance your cosmetologist career image. These zebra print clogs would be adorable with black dress pants and black top.
You could even use some of their original prints to help with your "branding" efforts. You could stand out in people's minds by being the hair stylist with the wild shoes!
Many salons require you to wear closed toe shoes. Dansko has some Mary Janes if you need a shoe to wear with a skirt or cropped pants. They have proven to be worth the money. I have had mine for 10 years and they are in great condition still.
So do yourself a favor and start out wearing the best shoe that will not only support your body but support your cosmetologist career. Before I got mine my hips and legs were starting to kill me. My feet were hurting so bad and I couldn't find anything to help, until a nurse turned me on to Dansko's.
You can find them at shoe stores that specialize in walking or comfort and are high end, like The Walking Company. They are also carried on Zappos.com/dansko. (Link will open new window) (They are sized in Euro so check the conversion chart.)
If you find another brand to recommend to hair stylists, use the comment section at the bottom of the page. You may save a career with your tip for the best shoe for hair stylists!
When I was having trouble with my foot pain I also went to the foot doctor and had orthotic inserts made. When I can't wear my Dansko's I wear my inserts instead to give me arch support.
If you can't afford the dr. visit there are kiosks in stores for Dr. Scholls arch support inserts.
However if you are looking for some happy relief for tired feet and legs I would like to suggest Foot Relief Insoles. They are filled with gel and literally massage your feet all day! AND you can try them for 30 days risk free. If they don't work just send them back. They are made for people who are on their feet for long periods of time.
Click the link below for 25% OFF.
Repetitive motion is the nemesis to our cosmetologist career. Eventually the wrist movement from cutting hair and blow drying will catch up with you.
My friend's got so bad after 10 years of hairdressing that she kept dropping her shears. She had to have the carpel tunnel surgery.
Seven years ago my arm kept falling asleep while I was driving so I had a doctor test the nerves in my wrist. He said I wasn't to that point yet. He recommended I sleep with a wrist band on at night to give my wrist time to relax. It has worked very well. A small price to pay to avoid surgery.
Fast forward to NOW and yes I could use the surgery. It is so bad in both wrists that I drop things all day. But the Dr. also told me it is not a cure all. Carpal tunnel can come back if you continue with the repetitive motion that started it.
As of today I have not had the surgery. Mainly because I can't afford it or the time off. And if I know it can come back then why bother anyway!
Here is my pro-active weapon now.
New Grip Wrist Supports
Bonus: they are made in the USA.
Unlike other wrist supports which are made of polyester or a 50-50 stretch blend, new and improved NewGrip Wrist Support Wraps are made of 100% , sturdy, non-stretch breathable cotton. Non-stretch cotton provides controllable compression to the sore wrist.
NewGrip Wrist Support Wraps stimulate the supply of warmth to the sore wrist, improving the natural body response toward achieving homeostasis; a stable temperature.
In effect, NewGrip Wrist Support Wraps provide added heat to painful wrists; blood vessels increase in size, nutrients and oxygen are delivered to the wrist very often resulting in elimination of the cause... all without anti-inflammatory drugs. This increased warmth relaxes the tendons to and reduces pressure on the median nerves.
Stylists have found that by wearing the NewGrip Wrist Support Wraps , with a snug comfortable fit, that they experience great relief within a week or two, often sooner.
I felt relief very soon and saw improvement in my discomfort as I am working. These supports have helped extend my cosmetologist career.
They absolutely CAN BE! I was recently educated on shears. What I discovered SHOCKED me.
Not only did I find out my shears are cheap and needed to be replaced years ago, but I have also been holding them wrong BECAUSE they are cheap!
Let me explain. I paid $100 for them. Well recognized name brand purchased through professional beauty supply. However, they are not made from the stainless that holds an edge best. Even though I have them sharpened every 6 months the edge was not adequate and I didn't realize it. Now because they were not as sharp as I thought they were I was using my first 2 fingers to press down on the handle to cut. THIS is where the arthritis happened!!
And this is the #1 reason my cosmetologist career may be over soon. The finger will never get better, only worse, and the pain is bad.
This is how I've been cutting. Bad hand position because of wrong handle and first 2 fingers helping to push down on blade for more power.
This is the best fist I l can make now. A year ago I could do much better.
The result of using cheap shears is crazy arthritis in the middle finger! The finger is permanently bent and getting worse.
The finger is double the size of the others, will not bend much, will not straighten out and is very painful.
I know what you are thinking. HOW CAN I KEEP THIS FROM HAPPENING TO ME? And how do I know what the best scissor is for me?
Check out my Shear Knowledge here. You won't believe how little things about scissors can affect your health, from the type of handle you use to the way you are holding them.
Or visit the Shop ....That's Salon Life. I have the shears listed in order of ergonomics for you.
I turned you on to the Sam Villa videos on YouTube on the Free Education page. Here is a great one on holding your shears properly to protect your wrist and hands, no matter what brand you fancy.
I know you are young......for now. Think ahead though.
How do you keep from this happening to you? Compression stockings. Do you remember those thick, white stockings nurses used to wear? Those were compression stockings. But hold on! I'm not suggesting you wear nurses white stockings.
Compression wear increases blood circulation for better leg health. I believe wearing them under your slacks (with your Dansko shoes) would help you stay on your feet longer and help prevent getting spider veins.
No one would even have to know you were wearing them. Think of them as Spanx for your calves. I found Alevalegs.com that has good brand options and great prices. You can get them in many colors and even toe-less to wear with open toe shoes.
You wouldn't have to wear them every day, especially if your outfit shows your legs. You just have to decide WHAT is important to you. The day you are rubbing your legs is the day you will click through to Alevalegs.com!
Salon life is notorious for bad eating habits, a fast paced environment and long days.
If you don't monitor yourself you will burn out quick. You really do need to take care of yourself to have career longevity.