June 24, 2021 2 min read 0 Comments

How can hair stylists protect themselves from carpal tunnel syndrome?

Hair stylists (barbers and groomers as well) should become more aware of their body positioning when working. Holding their shears in an awkward angle can exacerbate the problem. Sleeping with hands curved under the chin has been a common sleeping position among people who develop CTS. 

Two things that will help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome among hairstylists is to stretch their hands before beginning work in the morning and to use shears that require less effort to close. Shears that are dull and shears with a pivot screw that is too loose or too tight can create fatigue from overusing the hands in a repetitive motion which is the number one contributing factor to develop CTS.  

bonnie Megowan doing CTS exercise

The stretching exercise developed by Bonnie Megowan of Bonika Shears is easy to remember for those who are “religious” about it. Follow these steps

  • Humble Yourself. Bend from the waist and let arms hang loosely facilitating the flow of blood to the fingertips.
  • Pray. Tent the fingers and the thumb together but with the palms not touching. A gentle stretch of the fingers in this position will open up the carpal tunnel area of the wrist.
  • Resist Evil. Pull back the fingers of your left hand gently with the palm is facing outward. Repeat with the right hand.
  • Praise. Stretch the arms and hands high above the head, wiggling the fingers. This will produce a nice open stretch to the entire median nerve that travels from the center spine to the shoulder down to the thumb and fingertips.
  • Serve others. The last step in this stretching exercise is to open the hands wide in front with the palms out as if offering a gift to someone or holding a serving tray in the hands. This will also serve to pen up the palm and the carpal tunnel area of the wrist.
CTS Exercise

Written by Bonnie Megowan. Bonnie is a shear sharpener trainer and teaches sharpening through her Youtube channel and in person. Her company Bonika Shears produces the Bonika Shear line of shears. She is available for consultation about shears and sharpening. Love2Cut Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFp-U37s3RlAEBa76ujTGIQ