Health and safety is a top priority in the beauty business, writes Anita Quade. National training manager at Jax Wax Australia Michele Hetherington reveals her tips on how to look after physical health.
Work health and safety (WHS) is an integral component of the beauty industry. Employers have a responsibility to provide both their staff and clients with a safe environment. Staff are also responsible for contributing to their own health and safety especially when performing treatments that require more physical exertion.
Waxing is a beauty treatment that can be physically demanding for the therapist. Adopting the correct stance and working with the natural movement of the body will reduce muscle fatigue and prevent injury.
Whether you are sitting down doing an eyebrow wax or standing for a full leg and bikini, it is important that you are mindful of your posture and the way in which you conduct repetitive actions.
Working as the national training manager for Jax Wax Australia I’m often travelling to conduct training workshops that see me working long hours demonstrating waxing techniques. Addressing the physical demands of waxing and how to avoid chronic injury are an important part of all my workshops.
I think most therapists that have worked in the industry for more than 20 years would all agree they have suffered back, neck and shoulder pain at some point. It is important to have some form of regular exercise to increase blood flow. Strengthening your core will help take the stress off your back, lifting weights will build muscle fibre and activate muscles thus reducing fatigue.
Some tips for working safely:
Prepare for yourself, don’t stress, don’t rush, breathe and smile.
Uniforms should be unrestrictive, flat comfortable shoes are a must.
The quality of the treatment bed is important. It should be sturdy and not move.
The height is important, it should be suitable for you so that you can maintain good body position.
Width of the table – this should be narrow enough so that you can reach the client easily but wide enough to accommodate the client comfortably.
Have your wax pots on a trolley that can be moved to suit the treatment, you should be able to reach them easily without having twist your body around.
Required tools, equipment and products should be prepared before starting the treatment so everything runs smoothly.
Position your client and yourself so that you don’t have to lean awkwardly over them. Turn don’t twist, bend down not over.
Accuracy is more important than speed. Be mindful of your posture, distribute your weight evenly on both feet and stand with a wide stance where possible with the feet under the hips rather than together, bend your knees.
Hand exercises are important to increase flexibility and endurance, practice twirling your spatula to help strengthen your wrist, stretch before and after treatment.
When waxing larger areas try to remove wax towards your body not away.
If you are seated to do an eyebrow wax hold your stomach in to engage your core, this will correct your posture.
If you are injured, you should refrain from conducting treatments until you are fully healed.
Make sure you keep hydrated throughout the day.
Ensure that appropriate breaks are taken, try to book a variety of waxing treatments each day to avoid repetitive strain.
Treat yourself to a massage or nice long soak in a tub sometimes.
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