The beauty business can get pretty ugly as it takes its toll on service providers. Long hours on your feet can trash your body and shorten your career. Here are Ivan Zoot’s top five tips for long-term career comfort and personal durability.
- Treat your work like a workout – Good hair fitness looks a lot like a trip to the gym. Daily pre-effort stretching exercises are a must. Stretch breaks during peak performance is necessary for ongoing comfort and world-class results. Proper hydration throughout the day will have you feeling fresher and delivering better. Know your limits and be realistic about productivity and performance. A half-marathon requires more training than a 5K.
- Make better shoe choices – Choose function over fashion. Properly fitted athletic shoes are a much better choice than heels or dress shoes. Good trainers are available in all black or all white to fit any shop décor or dress code. If an employer will not allow you to wear clean and proper gym shoes it might be time for a different employer. Compression stockings, foot only or over-the calf lengths, are a choice to make as a preventative measure instead of as a remedy when your legs have already become a problem.
- Use your chair – Stand in one place and let the work come to you. The chair spins for a reason. Put the miles on the client not on the haircutter. The chair goes up and down. Lower the chair when working above the crestline. Raise the chair for tapering and perimeter cutting. You can’t cut what you can’t see. Adjust the height of the chair when blow drying based on the client’s hair length. Stand up straight. Engage your abdominal muscles. Keep your weight in your heels. You can’t work bent over for eight hours and expect to walk pain free the next day.
- Fuel smart – You are what you eat. Eat better. Be better. Have a solid breakfast. Coffee is not breakfast. Eat smaller meals more frequently. Do not treat lunch as an accident. You know you will be hungry at mid-day. If there are few good food choices at work brown bag it to eat better. Cookies and snacks for clients get eaten by hurried haircutters. Better not to have them in the shop.
- Set boundaries – Get good at saying NO! … and meaning it. Will you come in early to cut my hair? NO! Will you stay late for me? NO! The desk says you are full. Will you squeeze me in? NO! Work hard. Play and sleep just as hard. All work and no play (or sleep) makes for a cranky haircutter. We never do our best work in our ninth hour of the day. At hour ten our customer service is worse than our haircutting. The expression is… “You can’t take care of them if you don’t take care of you.” Make taking care of YOU priority number one and you will have a lot more productive years taking care of all of them.
Ivan is a 30-year haircutting veteran with a barber license, a cosmetology license and three Guinness World haircutting records. Ivan is also a certified personal fitness trainer specializing in working with beauty industry professionals on issues of health, wellness and long-term durability behind the chair. For more information and to get your copy of Ivan’s book Be A $100,000 Haircutter visit ivanzoot.com