The positioning of a stylist’s body in relationship to the haircut not only affects the quality of the end result, but more importantly, how much stress they are putting on muscles and joints to achieve that result. Healthy body position is a fairly simple goal… stand in a comfortable upright position with shoulders relaxed, head up, and weight balanced between two feet.
Tips for Correct Body Positioning
1. Is your head lined up over your shoulders? Your shoulders over your hips? Your hips over your feet?
• Often, heads hanging very far forward to get closer to work
• Another common imbalance is the hips either pushed forward with knees locked or hips pushed back with the shoulders hanging forward
2. Are you reaching for your sections?
• Placing your body in a position either right in front of your section or parallel with your section will keep you from leaning and reaching to hold your sections properly. (hand/cutting position can affect this)
• “Un-stick” your feet. We often get frozen in one place as we work which is also bad for the balance in a haircut! Your feet highly influence the overdirection in your haircut. Where your feet are is where you will naturally want to over direct the hair to. This is a VERY common cause for imbalance within a haircut.
3. Do you feel cramped as you are cutting?
• In the attempt to feel like we have control over our sections, we tend to crowd in closer and closer to our guest which results in “t-rex” arms… elbows are pulled in close, shoulders are shrugged with tension, and wrists are bent uncomfortably.
• Take a small step back and allow the shoulders to relax, the elbows to have a softer bend, and the wrists to straighten out to a more natural position.
4. Are you crouching or bending over often?
• Invest in a cutting stool! Many of us were told that sitting down while working is “lazy”… forget that nonsense! Taking care of your body and having a long career is the priority and as long as you are working with intent and purpose, there is nothing lazy about using a cutting stool to support you.
Andrew Carruthers’ career as a hairdresser has been extremely diverse. Fueled by over 17 years of full time work in a salon, his experience also includes salon ownership, photographic work, as well as personal and professional coaching. As an educator, Andrew has worked for many national cosmetology brands and is currently the Education Director for Sam Villa®, a brand that provides a wide variety of both online and live education. From small hands-on classes to large stages, his love for supporting others personal growth and sharing his discoveries has been a passion since the early days of his career. Primarily focusing on women’s and men’s haircutting and finishing, his approach to education is all about connecting with the everyday hairdresser and offering them the tools necessary to build a fulfilling and long-lasting career. "I'm not trying to impress the top 5% with what I do, I’m thinking about how I can serve the 95% of our industry that works at XYZ Beauty Salon to make every day stronger in their career.”