30 May 2023

Take Care of Yourself: Health Risks for the Professional Hairstylist

Like all professional categories, hairdressers are also subject to health issues directly related to their jobs. Especially musculoskeletal disorders.

Until a few years ago, when speaking of work-related health issues with hairdressers, they could be divided into three main categories: those concerning the musculoskeletal system, those involving the respiratory system and dermatitis.

Although the last two types – as confirms Antonio Stocchi, National President of the Italian Confederation of Trades Wellness and Health, and Aurelio Salvoni, National President of the Confartigianato Hairdressers’ Health – have essentially disappeared thanks to the quality of products now being produced by manufacturers, most of which have totally eliminated ingredients even if there is a possibility of risk, work-related health issues for hairdressers still include musculoskeletal disorders and conditions shared –although in different forms– with other categories of workers (like construction, agriculture, and warehouse workers).

According to data presented by “L’Oréal Professionnel with you against MSDs” – a project developed in collaboration with the Non-profit Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health – MSDs (Muscoloskeletal Diseases) today represent 75% of work-related illnesses among hairdressers. To this view, Antonio Stocchi adds: “Certainly, in the world of hairdressing there is now an air of increased safety, and this is thanks to constant monitoring of hairdressers’ well-being on a European level. And we intend to continue acting on a European level with the Italian Chamber of Hairdressing, which includes the CNA (Confederation of Trades Wellness and Health), Confartigianato, and Cosmetica Italia. Our Health and Safety table is present throughout the hairdressing supply chain. When it comes to musculoskeletal disorders, I believe that our commitment –as representatives of this category, salon owners, and career schools– is to educate new generations of hairdressers to maintain correct posture during all phases of their job. Only in this way will it be possible to limit the onset of this type of disorder, which can become truly serious pathologies.”

Teaching correct posture is also the focal point of Aurelio Salvoni: “It is on a scholastic level that the sector can do much to prevent the onset of musculoskeletral disorders. I taught for many years, working constantly on the posture of my students. Every tool of this trade helps us considerably in reaching our wellness objective: for example, professional blow-dryers –in addition to being quieter and so not harmful to hearing– are lighter and easier to handle, washing stations are more versatile and can be adjusted, just like the armchairs.”

So we have the possibility to obtain good results in this setting as well, as already happened for products with specific laws of the Consolidating Act and their updates. For posture we cannot issue laws, but we can continue to work on the quality and human engineering of the tools of this trade and –above all– on training.


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