World Health Day 2023: Beauty Professionals

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April 7, 2023 marks World Health Day, an annual day of recognition to highlight current global health priorities. This year the theme is ‘health for all.’ While this theme is relatively broad, everyone can relate to it. It’s a goal where people should have the ability to be healthy and have access to the appropriate care necessary to promote health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) every year designates a new theme to focus on. This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the organization’s existence, a monumental milestone worthy of celebration.

And, yes, even beauty professionals have the right to health. Health is your first wealth so it’s important that we do activities that promote health daily. From mental health to physical health, there is something for everyone to improve upon. In this article, we are going to look at specific health concerns that are more prevalent and common among beauty professionals and what can be done to address them. Afterall, if you want to have longevity in your career and a long healthy life doing the things you love, it’s going to take work on your part to maintain and promote health. Let’s begin…


World Health Day 2023: Beauty Professionals - Chemical ExposureCHEMICAL EXPOSURE

Probably the biggest and most detrimental issue that plagues beauty professionals is the use of a variety of chemicals on a consistent and daily basis. Hairstylists, barbers, nail techs, estheticians and so forth use several products on their clients all day long and are exposed to more chemicals than the average person.

Products such as hair color, hair sprays, gels, creams and other liquid products can get absorbed into the skin or inhaled through the nose and mouth. Some of these chemicals are quite toxic with over exposure. Ammonia, formaldehyde, some keratin treatments, acetone, straightening chemicals and other chemicals in the products used to do the work can promote cancer and other illnesses such as hypersensitivity of the immune system. Upper respiratory issues such as allergies, asthma and even lung cancer are possible consequences of prolonged over exposure.  Other possible consequences are infertility or other types of cancer such as breast cancer. Chemical exposure is not something to be taken lightly and great care should be taken to avoid exposure as much as possible.

So how can beauty professionals mitigate their exposure but still do their work effectively? Today, we are more aware of harmful chemicals more than ever. But without additional regulation and research on how these chemicals play a role in health, it’s important to prevent chemical exposure in these ways (at minimum).

First, choosing more natural products that don’t contain known irritants or cancer-causing chemicals. If you’re not working with harmful chemicals in the first place, the chances of developing a health problem goes down significantly. Be sure to look at all the ingredients and research them to the best of your ability.

Secondly, wear gloves and/or a mask. When you wear gloves, this creates a barrier between the product and the skin so the product never makes contact with the skin. Gloves can be used when washing hair and styling.

But for products like hairsprays which put mist-like particles into the air, those chemicals are likely to be inhaled through the nose and mouth. In this case, it’s wise to wear a mask or some sort of face covering. While this might not be ideal to use, it is a mechanism to reduce exposure. Alternatively, opt to refrain from using spray-like chemicals so they don’t go in the air. This may be difficult to do as the spray effect can be quite desirable for some looks.

It’s also wise to have proper ventilation so chemicals that release into the air have a way to escape. Higher ceilings or having more space between you and the next stylist or barber can help minimize your exposure. If you have your own salon suite, perhaps there is a window that can be opened or you can create your own ventilation.

Nail techs often work closely with nail products from nail polish to cleansers to removers. It’s important for nail techs to wear gloves and a mask when they can and use healthier products to perform the work. Additionally, nail techs can be exposed to infected blood which can transfer disease such as hepatitis, AIDS, fungal infections and athletes foot to name a few. Making sure you are vaccinated against blood borne diseases is an easy healthy preventative step.


World Health Day 2023: Beauty Professionals - Stress and AnxietySTRESS AND ANXIETY

Beauty professionals are not immune to stress and anxiety. Beauty professionals deal with clients all day long. Some of those clients come in regularly and see their beauty professional as a friend where they can vent their problems. Sometimes hearing about client problems and issues all day long is tiresome, exhausting and stressful. If you’re someone who takes their client’s problems home with them, this can lead to added anxiety and stress. Too much of this on a regular basis can result in depression and other mental health issues.

Client’s not only vent but can create other stressful situations such as showing up late, not showing up at all, complain about the result of their service or some other customer service issue. Being a beauty professional is a people business and anytime you deal with people you deal with all the personalities that come with it. It can be overwhelming and exhausting and wear you out.

Additionally, some beauty professionals may find they need to keep up a certain appearance to be accepted in their profession. Appearance expectations can take a toll on mental health as it becomes just another thing to concern yourself with. Afterall, if you’re in the beauty industry as a hair professional, nail tech or esthetician you probably want to practice what you preach. If your hair looks bad, what does that say to your clients?

Focusing on mental health is priority that many put on the back burner. But it’s just as important as your physical health. Taking some time to put policies in place, being clear about them and then enforcing them can save you a lot of headaches and stress. If there is a consequence for being late or not showing up, client’s will likely not be late and will show up or cancel within the appropriate time frame. Have systems in place that will reduce any areas of ambiguity.

For those who have difficulty with being their client’s ‘therapist’ find comfort in doing relaxation techniques such as doing yoga, meditation and developing good habits allow you to leave your client problems at work. Barriers are important to maintain mental health.


World Health Day 2023: Beauty Professionals - arthritisMUSCULOSKELETAL

The last major health issue beauty professionals face are musculoskeletal issues. Issues of the muscles, tendons, joints and more can become a problem when they do repetitive motions. A very common issue is arthritis. The pain and inflammation that occurs from overusing muscles and joints can prevent you from doing those movements. And if you can’t cut with scissors or pinch tweezers that easily anymore, it will be difficult to do your job properly in the future.

For issues that involve repetitive motion, it’s important to learn the most ergonomic way to hold and use different professional tools. Using the best hand and arm motions can save you from chronic issues later on.

Standing on your feet all day can also create problems in the lower extremities due to the constant pressure. If you’re overweight this can only aggravate the problem. If you find yourself standing all day, be sure to invest in anti-fatigue mats, wear comfortable shoes and take time to stretch your legs. Moving around is less stressful on the joints than just standing in one place too. If possible, use a chair to sit on while cutting. You can also take moments to sit between clients if that makes sense. If weight is an issue, losing weight can greatly reduce the pressure on the feet, legs and hips.

While chemical exposure, stress and anxiety and musculoskeletal issues are higher among beauty professionals than many other people, these are not the only health challenges they face. It’s important to assess the issues that affect you the most and do your best to promote health and longevity, because if you don’t your career will be short-lived.

World Health Day is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate than to actually do something healthy for yourself! Only you know what you need. Create a new healthy habit, change out some of the products you use for healthier ones or learn new ergonomic techniques. It’s all up to you!


JATAI provides innovative and professional quality beauty implements with world-class customer service and educational support. To offer great products as a master distributor, we seek out and select only manufacturers who demonstrate superior workmanship, the most advanced technology, and respected business core values of reliability, honesty and integrity. Accordingly, JATAI represents three major ‘workhorse’ brands that dominate within their categories. Feather, Seki Edge and Fuji Paper. JATAI Academy brings beauty tools to creative life. It’s the ultimate professional information resource where Education, Artistry and Trends CONNECT for Stylists and Barbers.

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