Massage therapist Hitesh Patel of Leicester, England, shared a series of photographs on Facebook to show the occupational hazards that hairstylists face from working on their feet all day. The photos show several hairstylists during physical therapy treatments that are necessary to help heal the damage to their bodies caused by the physical demands of their jobs. In a caption he writes, “Next time you look at your hairdresser and think they have an easy life, think of these pictures and see how much they sacrifice their own health just so your hair can look good!”
He describes how a hairstylist’s position behind the chair, angled over a client’s head while holding a brush in one hand and a hair dryer in the other can lead to long-term damage. “Your muscles develop and stop holding your skeletal system in an unnatural off central position. So then when you finally do you put down your crimping equipment and try and sit down and a natural neutral position, it just doesn’t work.
To treat his clients and reset their muscles he uses a healing technique called gua sha. Sometimes referred to as spooning, scraping or coining, gua sha uses an instrument to scrape the skin and produce light bruises. “…we need to gua sha all the scar tissue and then pin and stretch your muscles and then re-align your spine so when you do you do your yoga exercises it has a greater affect,” wrote Patel.
The photos have garnered thousands of likes and shares on the social media site, from hairstylists, clients and sympathizers who are now more appreciative of their beloved stylists. Patel is quick to caution that these photos not only represent stylists, but anyone who has an occupation that has them on their feet all day. “It’s not just hairdressers, but any job including fitness instructors, dentists, mechanics pharmacist. If you’re not looking after your body on a regular basis, it can all tighten up and cause you pain later on down the line,” cautioned the massage therapist.