National Hair Loss Awareness Month: 3 Steps to Building Client Trust

August is National Hair Loss Awareness Month, a month dedicated to creating awareness, sparking conversation, and providing information for the 80 million Americans dealing with some degree of hair loss. 

As stylists, we strive to make sure our clients leave the chair feeling beautiful, confident, and authentic to themselves. Sometimes, this will mean having an honest, difficult, and personal conversation about the state of their hair. Though we can not provide the insight that a dermatologist or trichologist can, we do have enough insight to point our clients in the right direction when it comes to fine or thinning hair.

Continue reading for 3 steps on building client trust through education, encouragement, and most importantly, kindness and understanding. 

Have a private conversation

Sometimes, a client may communicate with you openly about their hair concerns. Other times, you may be the first to notice thinning or bald patches on your client. Either way, it’s best to have this conversation privately so that your customer doesn’t get embarrassed. Though your client may trust you, he or she may not feel comfortable being completely honest when in earshot of another client or stylist. If you can, move your client to a chair in a more secluded area of the salon. When that’s not possible, make the effort to talk with your client face-to-face instead of standing behind them while talking through the mirror. This way, you can avoid the need to speak loudly and your client will feel like you are taking their concerns to heart. 

Inform and Educate

Though hair loss concerns should be brought to a doctor, dermatologist, or trichologist, give your client some basic background information on hair loss and suggest the best next steps. 

Start by asking simple questions like, “Have you been really stressed lately?” and, “Does hair loss run in your family?” If your client has been stressed, or has recently gone through something traumatic, like the loss of a loved one, or physically taxing, like childbirth, chances are their hair loss is just temporary. After suggesting for them to make a doctor’s appointment just to be on the safe side, assure them that hair loss after such an experience is completely normal. It’s important that they understand their hair will likely go back to normal in a few months once their mind and body have had time to recover. 

However, if your client’s hair loss has been a slow, gradual process and there are cases of thinning hair within the family, it is likely that your client is experiencing male or female pattern hair loss. Unfortunately, this type of hair loss doesn’t recover on its own and will require specialized hair loss medication and treatment under the guidance of a doctor.

In either case, inform your client of actions they can start implementing now, like taking a biotin supplement daily. Additionally, avoiding sugar, white starches, and alcohol will help to combat hair loss. Especially when replaced with leafy greens, healthy fats, and protein.

Empower and Encourage

Having a difficult conversation around hair loss can really put a damper on a client’s self-esteem. Before he or she leaves the chair, help your clients feel empowered and confident with a cut that provides the most volume and coverage for their situation. Whether it’s suggesting a bold pixie cut, a stylish lob, or even adding layers to lighten up long tresses, be sure to talk your client through your process and explain to her how the specific cut will provide volume. While you’re working your magic, let them in on the products you’re using for volume with instructions on how to use it daily. 

Hair loss and thinning is an emotionally taxing experience for anyone. While they’re in your chair, make an effort to ease the situation. Allow for room to vent and be sure to remain positive throughout the appointment. Bring up light-hearted subjects like the latest celebrity gossip or your thoughts on a show that you’re both bingeing. These small actions play a big role in the stylist/client relationship. Not only will your client take comfort in knowing that you truly care and have their best interests at heart, but the development of such a relationship will keep them (and their referrals) coming back for years to come.