August is National Hair Loss Awareness month, but it’s a sensitive topic. According to one study, only 30% of women talk to their stylist about hair loss. If you’ve been a stylist for any amount of time, you will have to discuss client hair loss in the salon. The reasons behind your client’s hair loss can vary. Postpartum hair loss, stress, issues with diet or sleep, and genetics all can be factors when dealing with hair loss. Either way, the client in your chair may be feeling less confident or uneasy about their appearance.
Start the conversation about client hair loss
Both men and women clients could experience hair loss, even though many people only associate it with men. Like everything else, the conversation starts with the consultation. Sometimes clients will bring their hair loss on their own. However, if they don’t mention it, you can start the conversation. If you see the part or sides thinner as you’re looking through their hair, start by asking, “What would is one thing you’d like to change about your hair?” Not only does this question lead you to answers about thinning, it can also set up expectations for the appointment. Let the client answer and lead the way. If the client answers about volume or thickness, it’s likely they have also noticed the thinning.
Another way to begin the discussion is to ask what they were thinking about having done during the appointment. If their expectations don’t match with the current state of their hair, it might be a good time to address the issue directly. For example, if the cut they want might make their hair look even thinner, speak up and give them other suggestions. This helps to build trust in you as their stylist and expert.
Be solution focused
Once you’ve started talking about the problem, find out what’s behind the client hair loss. Some clients might know what the cause is, while others might not have a clue. Start by asking something like, “What else has been going on or has changed recently for you?”.
Postpartum hair loss is a common reason for thinning hair in women. It’s important to stress that it’s only temporary and will regrow, but in the meantime, find a cut that works for them. Many women choose bangs as a way to disguise newly regrown hair.
Medical issues can obviously be a major factor in hair loss. Encourage clients to tell their doctors first and follow their medical advice. You can also suggest a treatment, like ColorProof’s BioRepair-8 or the Groh line, to help jumpstart the regrowing process. A daily vitamin or a hair, skin, and nails vitamin is also a good suggestion.
Some clients also have hair breakage and loss due to their daily style. Ask “How do you normally wear your hair when it’s not being styled by someone else?” to get the answer. Too tight ponytails, braids, or even box dyes (the horror!) can also be the culprits. Some clients may not be aware what they are doing is damaging to their hair.
Having the conversation about hair loss isn’t easy, but addressing the situation will be better for the client and better for you. It’s a delicate issue, but having a careful discussion about it can build trust in the client, and establish a relationship for years to come.