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Is Hair Stylist the Least Stressful Job of 2015?

Jeffrey Boston stylist John Porter demonstrates the "Brigitte Bardot" holiday hairstyle on model Sarah Berg. PAT GREENHOUSE/ THE BOSTON GLOBE

The career information site, CareerCast, claims that for the year 2015 being a hair stylist is the least stressful job in America.

According to Forbes, CareerCast does their analysis on least stressful jobs using over 100 criteria, which includes “income and growth potential to the degree of competitiveness to the amount of public contact to physical demands and work conditions like toxic fumes and noise.’’

They get their data from the Department of Labor, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau, trade associations, and private survey firms.

But are hair stylists really coasting through a life full of sweet smelling suds and cozy warm hair dryers? Turns out not all of them think their lives are so stress free.

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“I don’t know where they came up with that one,’’ Melissa Suescun, a part-time hairstylist at Salon Larue in Weymouth, said.

With a median annual salary of $22,770 and a 13 percent projected salary growth by 2022, CareerCast said hairstylists are the least stressed because they “typically work either with walk-in customers or build their own regular clientele. The most successful doing the latter can open their own businesses and thrive.’’

Suescun said that description glosses over a lot of hard work.

“It took me 20 years to get where I am now,’’ Suescun said. “If anyone thinks it’s not stressful they can work in the business.’’

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Right after Cosmetology school Suescun worked under some bosses where she was ordered around most of the day and swept a lot of floors.

“You are trying to learn it and people treat you like crap,’’ she said. “But I ended up loving it. It took a long time to build up a clientele. There’s a lot of sitting around. No one just hands you a clientele, you have to earn it and that can be stressful.’’

Not to mention clients can be a source of stress themselves.

“Its not all one big party,’’ she said. “I love my coworkers and I do love my clients and they are loyal, but there can be pressure, because you are on schedule and you are dealing with people’s lives and they want to look their best and everyone has a place to be these days.’’

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She said if she is running 15 to 20 minutes behind because someone was late, other clients are not so happy.

She also said that it can take a physical toll, as standing behind the chair all day has caused her to have back issues. Suescun said some hair stylists get carpal tunnel, as “repetitive motions are stressful on the body.’’

But Suescun did mention that there are aspects that make her life less stressful. Now, after having children, she works part time and can make her own hours.

Serge Safar, the owner and hair stylist at Safar Coiffure, said that he has the stress of wanting to always make sure the clientele is happy and satisfied. But generally he agrees that his job is pretty low stress.

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“This is our stress, but our stress level is more fun,’’ he said. “Ambience and things like that we are trying to take the stress out for the clientele and make it fun.’’

He said over his years of doing hair, things haven’t changed much and stress levels have stayed the same.

“It’s a happy feeling to come to work,’’ Safar said. “And what’s not to be happy about taking care of beautiful people every day. It’s the best time to see a smile on their face.’’

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