Do you wake up at night feeling tingling and shooting pain in your hands and fingers? As a hairstylist, you may have shrugged this off as an occupational hazard. The result of hours and hours of cutting and styling your favourite clients’ hair. Is this just the price of doing what you love? Maybe not.
These feelings aren’t just a right of passage for hairstylists and barbers but signs you might be suffering from a more severe condition . . . carpal tunnel syndrome. Fortunately, there are scissors and exercises that help you minimise the pain and keep you out of the doctor’s office.
But first . . .
According to the Mayo Clinic, “carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of your hand. When the median nerve is compressed, the symptoms can include numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and arm.”
For a stylist like you, the condition is caused by the irritation of your wrist tendons through the regular flexing and over-extending of the thumb and fingers. Basically, the movement you make when cutting hair.
And you’re not alone! Research from the United States National Institute of Health found that there were five times more instances of carpal tunnel syndrome in your industry than the rest of the population.
Five times. That’s a lot. If ignored, you can lose dexterity and grip strength, which could potentially require surgery or force you into early retirement. (Yikes!) So how do you keep yourself from becoming part of the statistics?
Prevention is key. Even if you’re already feeling a bit of numbness and tingling, you can keep it from getting worse by:
The right shears can make all the difference in both prevention and managing pain. You’ll want to find scissors with handles or grip that maximises movement and comfort. More about this later. Self-care for your hands, wrist and tendons
Schedule stretches and massages at least every hour to reduce the tingling and numbing. Start with these four exercises:
Give your hands a break Schedule regular breaks throughout the day. Even a few minutes can give your body time to recuperate.
Maintain proper body positioning
The secret to shears that minimise carpal tunnel is in the grip or handle design. The right pair lessens the strain on your tendons without sacrificing technique. Try the Matsui Offset Drop handle for a crane grip
Does your elbow drop when you cut? The crane grip might be a good fit. The design allows you to minimise the discomfort that comes from your elbow dropping. In addition, theMatsui Offset Drop handle’smountain blade design gives you the freedom to maneuver difficult cuts while reducing neck and shoulder pain. Fond of the swivel grip design? Try the Matsui Swivel design
The swivel grip design of theMatsui Swivel design aims to reduce wrist pain and hand fatigue by promoting a more natural movement of the hand. Made with premium Hitachi Japanese Steel, hairdressers suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome recommend the swivel grip design most often. Keep it light with the offset grip design of the Yasaka Offset Handle
If you’re already experiencing discomfort in your wrist and hand, the high quality and lightweight material of theYasaka Offset Handle is the way to go! The comfortable grip reduces stress on the thumb tendon while easing the fatigue by shortening the thumb’s travel distance.
To say we know our scissors is an understatement. Established in 1998, we’ve been providing a professional, reliable mobile service exclusively to hairdressers & barbers for years!
We’ve got a fantastic collection of swivel, offset and crane grip design shears to meet your comfort and ergonomic needs. So reach out for expert guidance in finding the right pair of scissors for your hands.