By Chrisbaileyis…

For as long as I’ve been getting haircuts I’ve actually never really realized how much time barbers spend on their feet day in and day out.  Due to great demand of their skills true Master Barbers stand for hours at a time each day before getting that opportunity where they can sit down, eat



a decent meal and literally take a load off.

Spending most of their day on their feet, barbers increase the risk of health problems including varicose veins which can lead to poor circulation, hypertension (high blood pressure), heart problems to name a few. Now if that doesn’t get the attention of Male Barbers, the combination of multiple health issues can and will lead to erectile dysfunction which most definitely makes a very unhappy Mrs. Barber.  Let me not forget to mention fallen arches, back problems, muscle aches, bunions, corns, swelling in the feet and legs, lower extremity joint pain and a host of other sleeping giants.  To make matters worse for Master Barbers, the long hours tend to aid in poor in diets and no time to make it to the gym.  To my beloved Barbers, these are things you need to know and.

From the time you pull up to the shop the hustle is on.  The goal for the day like every other day is to cut as many as you can cut and make as much as you can make.  Before you know it your shoes are covered in hair and your stomach sends that message nourishment is needed and quick.  The dilemma here is you are only 2/3rds into a cut with a walk-in up next, whom you managed to squeeze in before your appointments are due to arrive.  So what is there to do?  Most often barbers chose to grind it out, lining their pockets and leaving their stomachs empty for at least another hour or two.  This later leads you to make another poor choice.  Once you get a second between cuts, you make a quick dash to the neighboring store to inhale just about anything that resembles food.  Guaranteed this is not a healthy choice.  Back to your station and one head after the next you cut as sensations of fatigue are shaken off in order to keep up the true hustler’s pace.  This is no doubt a great money making day for you but it is just as equally bad for your health.

First and foremost diet is the most important thing that is frequently overlooked.  I’m not suggesting that you go all retro and break out your old Superman lunch pail with the matching thermos but hey, whatever floats your boat at this point.  All you need is a good ole PB and J sandwich some fruit and water or OJ in the break room fridge with your name on it of course to suppress that “in case of emergency break the glass” hunger.  That alone can make all the difference in the world for you.  In case you do not have an understanding of blood sugar and how it correlates with your brain.  It’s simple as this your brain needs food to work.  Once your blood sugar levels drop below a certain point you may experience headaches, become irritable, light headed and even dizzy in some cases.  Hey low blood sugar levels can be the reason for that uncharacteristically jacked up haircut you gave your client earlier in the week or day.  The reason you wanted to fight when your co-workers cracked a few good jokes on you, when normally you would’ve laughed it off and came back with a joke of your own.   With low blood sugar brain functions are most certainly compromised and mood swings are common.  Frequently running on E leads you to feel the need to eat large quantities at a setting which sends your system in to sugar overload.  Years of stuffing yourself raise the risk of developing type2 diabetes which is absolutely no bueno.  What you wanna do is make it sure you are avoiding that hunger of death by taking time out to eat small meals throughout the day.  For example, half that good ole PB and J sandwich before you start on your next client and the other half after you finish.  This way you provide sufficient fuel for your brain and body, not to mention saving yourself a few bucks in the process.

Now the diet has been addressed let’s move on to the effects of long term standing.  Long term standing puts a strain on the calf muscles that aid in reducing the effects of gravity which makes it easy for veins to return blood from the feet back to the heart.  The strain causes these veins to become fatigue, which allows blood to back flow causing the veins to become enlarged.  Varicose veins are known to be painful, especially when standing or walking.  They itch and scratching them can cause ulcers.  Most common symptoms are swelling, muscle cramps and difficulty walking.  The arrival of Varicose veins serve as a warning that you must start to elevate your legs, and exercise more frequently for these are simple remedies that will save you a trip from the operating table.  You may not be able to elevate your legs during your busy day but what you can do is implement the use of a stool to take the load off your feet.  I can see where some could perceive the barber as being lazy but in actuality the stool helps the barber to alleviate the pain from standing all day and promote circulation.  Remember good circulation means increased oxygenated blood throughout your entire body, thus reducing the chance of developing, high blood pressure unless hereditary and erectile dysfunction in men.  Last I checked erectile dysfunction, diabetes and hypertension was nothing to brag about.  Oh yea having a gym membership is cool and all but you have to actually go to the gym and work out.  Swimming, cycling, weight lifting and resistance training will help you in the long run, trust me.  All this is possible if you sit down and schedule around you rather than your appointments.  One hour for 2 to 3 days a week will work wonders for your health and your business.

Something else that wouldn’t hurt is for you to see a chiropractor and a masseuse.  Long term standing also effects posture throwing the backs out of alignment, in turn effecting circulation.  When the spine is not aligned the disk of the spine pinch nerves hindering imposes and blood flow to and from the brain and throughout the body.  So any barber that has been in the game over 5 years is sure to have a misaligned spine and could seriously use a chiropractor and a real massage therapist, not the ones that give happy endings.  Deep tissue massages relaxes tight muscle bundle fibers that restrict blood flow and nerve passage as well.  Once muscle bundles are eliminated the muscle is allowed proper profusion (blood to that reaches the muscle) and it is allowed to function properly.  In addition acupuncture is something else to consider being it is said to have countless benefits from circulation, alleviation of pain to regenerative effects and stress relief.

Along with implementing good planning and adding more healthy habits, comfort is very important as well.  Hard bottom inserts placed in your shoes with a cushioned floor mat around your station helps a lot.  The hard arch inserts rather than the gel do a better job with distributing weight equally across the foot than gel inserts.  The cushioned floor mat reduces shock and pressure on the back.  Now that you are informed, I hope you see just how proper planning can along with comfort can benefit you in the long run, which will ensure your longevity, good health and success in the barber business.  Also putting yourself first is very important.  That walk-in or regular has no idea how long you have been in the shop, if you are hungry or not and they really doesn’t care.  They are just worried about getting their haircut and getting on their way.   Just as they say in dominoes “all money ain’t good money”.  Health and happiness is more valuable than monetary wealth any day.  If you didn’t before, now you know.  God Bless



11 Responses to Barber Health Tips!

  • Winslow Jordon says:

    Thanx Chris.
    I’m a 33 year old barber with a bustling barbershop and was looking for such advice as my feet are starting to tell the signs of the hectic schedule ..
    BlessUp for the positive advice

  • Toby da barber mempmis tn.TDB says:

    RIGHT so Right Mr

  • Toby da barber mempmis tn.TDB says:

    Whatcha hair cutting skills like

  • Ken maxwell says:

    I’ve been cutting hair for nearly 50 years now and I,m 76 years old. I’m starting to feel some of the pain mentioned in this article but I do happen to have a stool that I use when I get really tired.

    • I’ve tried to use a stool, but I keep standing up out of habit. I have to give you platinum status as a Barber putting in work for 50 years. Salute to you Big Bro! I’ve recently run into some serious issues with my back, and through the advice of my physical therapist I started moving more instead of standing in the same place to keep from feeling so stiff. However if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that everyone’s body is different. At the end of the day we have to do what works best for us.

  • brother thank you for your teaching and advice that you have given as God bless you

  • Bryan says:

    Very good advice my man. Unfortunately I’ve chased that dollar for so many years it’s finally breaking my body down. I’m now suffering from planters ficiatious and shin splints and arthritis. My work days are typically no less than 10 to twelve hours standing on my feet has destroyed my legs. And I am now unfortunately trying to find remedies for relief . I love this profession but it has definitely left its mark on me

  • Benjamin says:

    Thanks for the info, I’ve been cutting hair for 22 years and i wouldn’t turn anyone down sometimes I’ll cut from 6am till 10pm. Now my feet burns, bad cramps in my legs, back hurts, neck hurts. So I need to get active, take breaks and eat healthier food. Thanks again!

  • Jason Perrins says:

    I have been cutting hair for some 25yrs and highly recommend yoga, Pilates and tia chi; will help with settling the mind after a days toil along with strengthing your core and stretching muscle groups and spine.

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