I'm not big on New Years resolutions, but I am instituting some new habits, starting this month. I am using better quality ear plugs when I use my high velocity dryers, and I am finally doing something about filtering out the particles of hair, dirt, dust and dander that we groomers are exposed to.
I started with the ear plugs about 10 or so years ago. Recently I read about a type of ear plug that filters out the higher decibels, but lets lower range sounds in. That sounded too good to be true, but I bought two sets, one for me, and one for my employee, who happens to be my beloved daughter. I have added interest in keeping her hearing intact, so that when I am old and sickly I can call for her and she will hear me! The ear plugs have been a success. They are more comfortable than the foam ones I've been using, and I can actually talk on the phone with them in, listen to the radio, have a normal conversation. They cost around $20. a pair, pricier than the box of foam plugs, but I think they are well worth it. The brand I chose are called Ear Peace. They come with three different filters, so you can choose which works best for you. You can find them here: https://www.earpeace.com/
Now about the breathing filter. I've tried SO many different things. I know it is important for groomers to minimize the stuff we inhale as we work, but I find masks to be annoying. They hook around my ears and are uncomfortable. Or they have a strap behind my head and it is too tight or too loose and messes up my hair. Worst of all, because I wear eye glasses, when I wear a mask my breath fogs up my lenses. Maddening! I read in a grooming forum that one groomer wears face shields. I've only ever seen people wear these when they ride motorcycles, but the idea was intriguing. The company I bought mine from had a deal, buy one, get three free. I think I only had to spend $20, and that seemed like a small price to try something new. We've only been using them for a week, but here is what we like so far. We can wear them around our necks when not in use. This means they are not lying around getting hairy. They are lightweight, easy to breath through, and they don't make our glasses steam up. Besides, they make us look like grooming gangstas'!
Here is a picture of us when we are not blow drying or buffing nails.
Your hearing and your lungs... important things that all groomers should be protecting. Will this be the year you start taking better care of you?