Are you remembering to take care of your health right now?
As a hairstylist, barber, nail tech, makeup artist, braider, massage therapist, or microblading artist, it is your job to look after others—all day every day. We make our clients look and feel their best! Truth be told, the focus is rarely, if ever, on us.
We use our bodies all day and come across people with different energies. Over time, we come to accept this as “normal” so much so that we tend to forget about our own well-being. Now COVID-19 and social unrest and an election year, being overbooked and wearing masks all day is creating the perfect storm to feel completely worn down.
Check out Emotional Intelligence Coach Simi Pothen’s tips on how to elevate your body and mind through daily habits and rituals.
Use these 5 healthy habits to restore your energy and well-being during crazy times!
10-Minute Mindful Meditation
A quick 10-minute meditation can make all the difference in your mental health! You can do it before you start your day, in between client appointments or at the end of the day when you want to let go of all the stress and negative energy.
- Get a timer and set it to 10 minutes.
- Find a comfortable, seated position and keep your back straight.
- Relax your shoulders. Then, close your eyes.
- Next, relax your face, bringing your attention to your breath. Let the natural rhythm of your breath flow.
- If you mind begins to wander, slowly bring your attention back to your breath.
- Practice for 10 minutes.
Yoga Poses for Hairdressers
As hairdressers, we put a lot of strains on our hands, shoulders and lower back. In fact, some of the top health issues many hair stylists face as they work in the profession are musculoskeletal disorders, such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Upper and Lower Back Pain.
These Yoga Poses will help strengthen your body and prevent ailments.
- Begin by making a fist. Then, circle your fists away from you.
- Next, circle your fists towards your chest.
- Do this five times each way for about 30 seconds.
- Extend the right arm in front of you, with fingertips pointing to the ceiling.
- Grab a hold of those fingertips, then gently press down.
- Do this for five breaths on each hand and repeat as desired.
- Repeat exercise with fingertips pointing down towards the floor.
- Repeat as long as you need to.
- Place your hands on your shoulders and make big circles with your elbows. Repeat 10 times.
- Then, go to the opposite direction. Repeat 10 times.
- Next, extend your arms to the opposite sides.
- Bend your elbows, hugging the right arm towards you. Hold for five breaths.
- Repeat the exercise on the other arm. Repeat as needed.
- Finally, take your right arm over your head, dropping it towards the back.
- With your left hand, grab your right hand. You can also use a towel or a strap to hold on to.
- Hold for 10 breaths, then repeat on the other side.
- Go into a seated position. Come to the edge of your seat.
- Place your hand on your lap. Then begin to open up your chest and lengthen your neck.
- Look up as you inhale. As you exhale, round your back, tucking your chin towards the chest.
- Continue to do this flow for 10 breaths with rests in between.
- Next, bring your feet up on the chair. Bend your knees and hug them with your arms.
- Drop the chin towards the chest.
- Hold for about 10 breaths and repeat as needed.
- Finally, drop your upper body down.
- Relax your shoulders and tuck your chin towards the chest.
- Hold for five breaths and slowly rise up.
As hairstylists, we can’t just survive on hairspray-laced coffee. Drinking the right amount of water will not only help you flush out toxins and maintain healthy skin, but it also greatly improves your brain function and energy levels.
In fact, studies have shown that the brain is strongly influenced by our hydration status. Mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair many aspects of brain function, including concentration and mood. In young women, for example, fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise causes drastic mood changes as well as increased frequency of headaches.
So how much water should you drink every day?
For every pound of body weight, you should drink about 1oz of water. So, if you weigh around 150lbs, try drinking about 150oz of water a day.
Keeping a reusable water bottle on hand will help remind to you re-hydrate and refill when it’s empty. Plus, it reduces waste of single-use plastics in the process!
“Breakup” with Troublesome Clients & Toxic Salon Cultures
Hairdressers deal with people with different personalities all the time, and sometimes this can take a toll on our well-being. It is our belief that every situation can be approached with love and understanding but there are unique instances wherein it’s absolutely necessary to cut ties for the sake of our mental and emotional health.
When setting personal boundaries, the first step is to be mindful of the situation and your emotions. Nothing good arises from reacting emotionally. If anything, it will only cause more tension between you and your client or colleague. See where they are coming from and calmly explain your side. If the person persists with their toxic behavior, then it is best to let go.
This will not only improve your health, but it will also allow more space for more positivity to come into your life.
Now more than ever, we must be intentional with the energy we receive and the energy we give. Do not feel guilty about building boundaries between yourself and toxic salon clients and work environments that drain you of your positive energy reserves. If a certain salon client gives you anxiety and dread every time you see them on your books or you’re working in a salon atmosphere that perpetuates negativity, it may be time to make some changes.
Turning down a client and potential money is difficult and not every person is privileged enough to do so, but we encourage you to consider your emotional health and how you can make more room for abundance and salon clients that are more compatible with you, your art and business.
If it’s a client that is practicing hate speech or voicing opinions that make you uncomfortable, we recommend reading up on the #NotInMyChair Salon Movement. Pioneered by Hair Stylist, Courtney Kimball, #NotInMyChair offers polite and professional responses to addressing uncomfortable hate speech in your chair.
Aromatherapy & Air Quality
We’ve all heard about the magic of essential oils, but are they really THAT powerful? Tons of research has proven the health benefits of Lavender, Rosemary, Citrus Fruits and Lemongrass and their anti-bacterial, anti-viral and mood-boosting properties.
When diffused, essential oils instantly elevate the mood at home and the salon. They are also proven natural stress relievers, energy boosters and focus enhancers, which could be just what everyone needs during these challenging times.