As a hair stylist for over 20 years, I've had access to fabulous hair products, cutting edge treatments and techniques and a salon at my disposal to test out different color ways and cuts on my heads. I am a very tough customer and really know what I want when it comes to my thinning hair.
One of the most important insights to have is the knowledge that those of us with thinning hair can never feel enough empathy or love - strong as we are. And none of us who are stylists can be assuring or positive enough. It's a tangle - as it were. More than anything, I hope each of you will give your thinning hair clients the best customer service and haircut for their hair, knowing that you cannot approach them as you would 80% of the clients that come for a turn in your chair.
Here are my tips for you stylists out there (and thanks for listening):
- Let your clients know that they are not alone. Over 25% of women face hair loss issues. Many women with fine or thinning hair are afraid to cut it, often leaving them with a translucent amount of breakage on the ends. These women need to come in more frequently and baby their hair.
- Listen to their unique needs and have a very thorough consultation with them.
- Thoroughly examine the perimeter of the hair to see how much strength is there. This is one of the most important areas on a thinning woman’s hair and must be approached with caution.
- Put your thinking cap on. Don’t go in blindly. Have a plan and cut with caution. Bleaching or harsh colors may not be right for your client and it is your job to help them get the healthiest and strongest hair possible.
- Remind clients that 95% of hair loss is genetic. This fact can give them a sense of relief.
- Ask if they are using topical solutions before you color their hair.
- When coloring their hair, follow the Hippocratic oath and first, do no harm.
- Do not use flat irons or curling irons. Damage from heat is real. These clients have delicate hair.
- Direct your clients to marketed products that work if you're comfortable doing so. Mine are here.
- Do not try to diagnose your clients and make recommendations on medical issues. Instead, send them to trusted websites (like this one!) and help them with language and ideas of what to ask a dermatologist and doctors.
- Only sell them what you believe in and other clients have tried with positive results.
- Use topical items like Xfusion or root concealers. Show them how to use these products.
- Take the time to show them how to style their hair to camouflage areas of thinning.
- Be a trusted person in their life. This matters way more than you know.
IF you cannot rise to the task, please send them to another hairdresser who has the language, experience and tools needed to serve them well. There's never any shame in doing the right thing. I have thinning hair and I am a great hairdresser.
Trust me. ALL women are afraid of thinning hair.
In our culture, hair is the ultimate sign of health and femininity, and those who have it know its power; those who don’t, might do anything to get it. It's our job as stylists to steer them lovingly in the right direction.
So, work with that they have and show them respect and love.