Being in the beauty industry, you see both sides of the cosmetology field, the behind the scenes hookup off all cosmetologists endure in a lifetime. To be more specific, our bodies are in very “tense” situations in a way, we call this Ergonomics. Ergonomics is the bodies efficiency to work in certain environments and has a huge impact in cosmetology and without proper knowledge of how to adapt the body can put under immense stress and a lifetime of preventable pain and disorders. There are many ways to resolve this epidemic, for example, stylists can accommodate their clients to their own needs in a means to take precaution against potential injury and lessen the negative impact that could be placed on our bodies. Although this dilemma may not be 100% solvable, there are still ways to improve the situation, a way to start this practice would be to implement better posture in the salon, balance the weight of your body, and adjusting clients to fit what you need (“Workplace ergonomics 101”). Being of help to your body is a vital element in being successful for a lifetime, without proper care for your body the career than you have sought out for yourself can be over before it even begins. This harsh reality is brought on by the pure ignorance we all share of ergonomics. Although it may not seem like a detrimental issue at the moment, the less we pay attention to it the more we put ourselves at risk for MDS in the future.
Ergonomics in the workplace is a plaguing issue that does not receive enough attention. The poor practice of better ergonomics could result in many musculoskeletal disorders (“Ergonomics”), but as we not only enlighten ourselves of the issue but others, it will be easier to find more permanent resolutions. I, myself practice cosmetology and every day I am learning more and more how important it is to understand my body and the way an environment can affect it. Without the knowledge, I am gaining I would never understand how cutting hair or doing a simple shampoo could change my life forever. This epidemic afflicts more than cosmetologists, it affects many people in the medical field and even people who work in corporate America. Ergonomics takes a toll on anyone and everyone, it does not discriminate. This pain plays a role in the life of many, only not at the same level as intensity as the next person (“Cosmetology & Ergonomics”).
As a means to seek change, I want to propose a more permanent fix instead of more temporary accommodations to the salon (“Importance of Ergonomics”). I want to create a shoe that is stylish, accommodating and versatile for all. This will further push finding more resolutions because the shoe will push boundaries and make its own limits, I imagine the shoe being convertible into many different styles like a heel, a platform shoe, and a regular tennis shoe all while having an orthopedic feel to further accommodate the stylist. Although the shoe will be geared to cosmetologists it could be used by anyone, but because cosmetologist has such a broad range of clients and situations (“Sara and Lee 675-678”), they would benefit from this the most. To expand, this product should be sought out in more than the cosmetology field, but as stated before people in the medical field could be of great appreciation to this as well.
Furthermore, because I am affected by ergonomics and can speak on this first hand, having these accommodations beside the shoe like making chair adjustments, watching my body balance and having proper hand and wrist positioning I would say that this skill set has really changed my life for the better over the past 4 years. I am using these skills and more in my salon time to help minimize the amount of stress I put on my body every day. Without these new learned and self-taught skills, the wear and tear my body would endure is immense. For this reason and many more, as the cosmetology field is growing at such a rapid pace, we should want the future of our industry to understand how to take care of their bodies in the salon and why it is so crucial that they do so.
Ergonomics may not be 100% solvable, but there are many ways to improve and maximize comfort for the stylist and even the client (“Ergonomics for salon workstations”). Whilst ergonomics pertains to benefit the cosmetic world, this is something that affects more people than we tend to realize. We need to act and make ourselves knowledgeable on our bodies, MDS, and ways to protect ourselves against this. Taking precautions is the most efficient way to ensure we avoid the wrath of the influence our bodies are subjected to simply due to a lack of knowledge.
- 01, Cynthia Roth | Feb. “The Importance of Ergonomics for the Safety Professional.” EHS Today, 13 Apr. 2012, www.ehstoday.com/news/importance-ergonomics-safety-3009.
- “Cosmetology and Ergonomics.” The Hazards of Benzene Exposure, Apr. 2017, content.statefundca.com/safety/ErgoMatters/CosmetologyErgo.asp.
- Czaja, Sara, and Chin Chin Lee. “Human Factors.” Encyclopedia of Aging, edited by David J. Ekerdt, vol. 2, Macmillan Reference USA, New York, NY, 2002, pp. 675–678. Gale Virtual Reference Library, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX3402200196/GVRL?u=j057910010&sid=GVRL&xid=6d2bbcd0. Accessed 13 Jan. 2019.
- “Ergonomics for Salon Workstations: Tips to Try – Direct Salon Equipment.” Direct Salon Equipment, 12 Mar. 2013, www.dsse.com.au/ergonomics-for-salon-workstations-tips-to-try/.
- “Workplace Ergonomics 101.” ErgoPlus, ergo-plus.com/workplace-ergonomics/.