First off, if you're new at hairdressing I bet you're asking what is Carpal Tunnel and RSI? Well Dr. Google will tell you in a nutshell it's a wrist injury caused by repetitive use of the hands/wrist most common in hairdressers . RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) Is what it sounds like-The same repetitive movement and use of the wrist which impacts all muscles, Ligaments, Nerves, and Tendons and commonly found in the wrist. RSI can then lead to much more serious injury like Carpal Tunnel.
Carpal Tunnel is where a nerve in the wrist is pinched causing the arm and wrist to go numb or have ongoing tingling sensations (not the good kind either). If it's mild it usually rests and a split along with icing the wrist can help flare ups where as if it's more severe surgery is usually the end result and as we all know once we open our body to surgery - it's never the same again. SO can it be avoided? With the right care taken all injuries can be avoided... right? Unfortunately it comes down to the individual person. You can take all the precautions possible but when it comes to how much or how little you do these movements everyone is different just like genetics, no 2 people are the same!
YES!!! OF COURSE THERE IS!! What kind of new age world would we be in if we got to the year 2021 and still hadn't had scissors that can help with RSI and Carpal tunnel!? The best designs that help are with handles that are Swivel and Crane designed, also including a light weight steel so obviously there is no added unwanted heavy weight to the scissor and wrist.
The Swivel scissor allows complete natural movement of the hand without putting yourself in any awkward or uncomfortable positions and allows your fingers and thumb to open and close while being in the correct position no matter what angle your hand is in. If you're going to head down the swivel road you'd want to make sure all your pairs of scissors are swiveled because once you start with them - there's no going back, which is why our hot pick is the Matsui Swivel triple set.
The Crane design however is designed so that you can drop your elbow position because of the arched angle of the scissor while cutting and relieve any neck or shoulder pain that could lead to - yes you guessed it, RSI or Carpal Tunnel. Our Favorite Crane designed scissor is the Matsui Offset Drop Handle
While we have covered the best 2 designs it’s also important to know and understand that the design is so important because it creates the shear to be more lightweight and easier to handle/use. The light weight designs help to improve mobility within the wrist and reduce any unwanted weight to the shear. This being said the best scissor we recommend for the combination of design and light weight steel is the Yasaka Offset Handle
To put it simple - you don't. Hairdressing is something you do as a passion, it's something you love and unfortunately as much as our heart and mind wants it, our body doesn't always see it that way. Some may be fortunate enough that they never get it in their hairdressing career and others aren't as lucky. However for the unlucky ones there are a few ways that can help prevent carpal tunnel.
First, the obvious is using correct shears. If I didn't make it clear enough above, I'll say it again now. The right shears allowing maximum movement and complete comfort is what you need to help prevent or add to any existing injury. Natural positioning is key for ultimate comfort and control.
Secondly, rest your hands and wrist! Rest where and when you can. I know it can be tricky when it comes to your wrist because let's be real here - we use our wrist in nearly every day to day activity. As long as you aren't performing the same movements day in and day out and having absolutely no rest or taking a break from repetitive movements for your wrist then you should be able to help prolong any future injuries.
Lastly, STRETCHES. As your P.E teacher taught you back in high school 'stretch before doing exercise'. Well the same goes for movements of day to day tasks. Stretching your fingers, hands and wrists out before, during and after a working day will give maximum blood flow to again obviously help prevent injury and give complete movement in your hands and wrist.
So there we have it, our hot tips plus our top picks! Hopefully now it's just that bit easier if you find yourself like me down the RSI/Carpal Tunnel aisle and learning how to manage it. You'll have your good days and your bad days but hopefully for your sake you don't end up on that surgery table.