Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the bane of all hairstylists. It is believed to be caused by strained repetitive movements of the hands and wrists — and cutting hair can be quite repetitive. CTS can be painful, but the pain is only one of your problems.
The ailment also reduces the strength, sensitivity and dexterity of your fingers, hampering your ability to handle scissors. CTS is a serious condition, but there are ways to delay — and even avoid — its onset.
Take a break
Continuously cutting and styling hair can be quite straining to your hands and wrists. Put down your hair-cutting scissors for a moment and take a quick break — even something as short as 5 minutes every couple of hours could be enough.
Try to do a little stretching or some flexibility exercises for your hands and wrists during your breaks. Those few minutes you spend resting reduces the amount of stress in the muscles and nerves of your hands and wrists.
Position yourself properly
Styling hair will involve positioning your hands at unnatural angles to get that perfect cut. However, that also puts you at a greater risk of CTS. As much as possible, try to keep your wrists straight or just slightly bent.
Raise or dip your elbows to a comfortable angle and try to move about from where you’re standing to get a better position. It can be a bit cumbersome at first, but these practices might just save you a trip to the surgeon.
Consider swivel scissors
Yes, they look weird and it might take a little time for you to get familiar with using them, but using swivel scissors is one of the best measures to avoid CTS. Swivel scissors allow you to angle better without bending your wrists, reducing a significant amount of strain on your hands and wrists.
Close to 15 percent of all salon professionals suffer from CTS — you could avoid being one of them. Take short breaks, take note of your body position and get the right tools.