As the saying goes, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Often times, being a hairstylist puts you at the forefront of your client’s battles. This is especially true when they are experiencing thinning hair or hair loss. Whether it’s their first time in your chair, or you’ve known them for years, it’s crucial to remain sensitive to their feelings and do whatever it takes to support them. In light of Hair Loss Awareness Month taking place throughout the month of August, we’re sharing a few tips on how you can help your client achieve inner confidence while also making them feel beautiful on the outside.
When most people sit down in a salon chair, they have little to no knowledge about hair care. They may have a look in mind they hope to achieve, but may not necessarily be sure if it’s the “right” one for them. As a stylist, it’s your job to not only help your client determine a style that’s best for them, but also to provide them with some hair care basics in order to maintain said style. You may suggest certain products they’ll want to use depending on their hair type or provide advice on how often they should be washingthroughout the week.
If you’re client is already experiencing some degree of hair loss, recommend an anti-shedding shampoo. This will help strengthen and moisturize their existing locks while reducing the amount of hair they’re losing. In addition, make them aware of the many food items that promote hair growthso they can incorporate those into their diet. Providing them with information like this may seem a bit out of your scope, but as a stylist, it’s your duty to do what you can to keep your client healthy and happy in and out of the chair.
The typical salon visit can last quite a while which means lots of time for talking. This provides plenty of time to allow your client to have the floor as the speaker and make a conscious effort to actively listen. Of course, your main focus should be their hair, but people have a tendency to open up while in the salon chair and you want to do whatever you can to promote this. Listening to your client chat about topics other than their hair may provide you with some insight into their lives and help you to build a strong stylist/client relationship. Believe it or not, they may consider you a better friendthen some people who are in their lives on a daily basis. They will begin to feel comfortable discussing personal information with you, providing you even more opportunity to be supportive. They may even come to you feeling down about their appearance, especially if they have thinning hair, and you have the power to turn their outlook around with both your scissors and a listening ear.
Nobody likes to openly discuss the features of their appearance that make them feel self conscious. After having a difficult conversation surrounding hair loss, a clients first instinct may be to get overwhelmed and stressed out, but stress will only make hair loss worse. Spend the remainder of their appointment keeping the conversation as light hearted as possible. Bring up topics that will get their mind off of the situation at hand, like their kids and family, celebrity gossip, or find common ground with a show you’re both watching at the moment.
Before the end of the appointment, walk through the next steps and action plans they should take moving forward, but make sure to do so with a positive attitude. Your positive energy will help your client feel less stressed and more empowered, especially if you work together to come up with a plan of action they can make strides on as soon as they leave the salon. Even if you don’t have all the answers to your questions, suggest your client make an appointment with a local dermatologistand do so with a smile and reassurance. Go the extra mile by sitting with them and pulling up a list of local dermatologists they can call and inquire with. Displaying a caring attitude with all of you clients will strengthen the stylist/client relationship in a way that even consistently great cuts and colors can not.