Journal of Community Health

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 670–679 | Cite as

Occupational Respiratory and Musculoskeletal Symptoms among Egyptian Female Hairdressers

  • O. M. Hassan
  • H. BayomyEmail author
Original Paper


Hairdressing is associated with exposure to a variety of harmful agents which have been linked to respiratory and musculoskeletal disorders in hairdressers. This study aimed to identify respiratory and musculoskeletal disorders in hairdressers compared to office workers. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 80 female hairdressers and 50 matched controls. A structured questionnaire was used to collect information on personal and occupational data, hairdressing activities, the presence of respiratory symptoms and the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in the past 12 months. Reported symptoms were compared between hairdressers and controls. The associations between self-reported symptoms and hairdressing activities were investigated. Hairdressers were more likely to report symptoms than controls particularly for those who were older, with higher body mass index and longer duration of work as hairdresser. There were significant associations between frequent hair treatments (bleaching, dye and wave) and hand dermatitis (P < 0.001), running nose (P < 0.05), eye irritation (P < 0.01) and phlegm (P < 0.05). Elbow pain and shoulder and back pain were the most prevalent musculoskeletal pains in the past 12 months (13.8 and 12.5 % respectively), back and knee pains were the most frequent chronic pain (7.5 %), hand and wrist pain led 12.5 % of hairdressers to visit a doctor and shoulder pain and back pain indicated a period of sickness absence in 13.8 % of hairdressers. Musculoskeletal disorders were associated with manual handling, prolonged standing, strenuous shoulder movements and awkward body posture. Hairdressing is associated with increased risk to respiratory and musculoskeletal disorders due to adverse work conditions.


Hairdressing Respiratory symptoms Work related musculoskeletal symptoms Work environment Egypt 


Conflict of interest

The author declares no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of MedicineBenha UniversityBenhaEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Community Medicine & Public Health, Faculty of MedicineBenha UniversityBenhaEgypt

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