The Event: The second annual MODERN SALON Hair+ Summit, focusing on the hair loss category which includes trichology, thinning hair, scalp care, extensions and enhancements, kicked off today, September 24, 2017 and will continue until September 26, 2017 in Atlanta, GA.
This event, produced by MODERN SALON and Bobit Business Media, started last year as a way to emphasize the importance of this category and to encourage participation among stylists and salon owners and also to introduce them to solutions from experts in the category. This year’s event focused on providing more advanced education to help participants move forward as hair loss consultants and to become strong in all areas—technical, business and medical.
On Day One, moderators Steve Reiss, publisher of MODERN SALON and Lauren Quick, senior editor, welcomed attendees and outlined the days to come.
“This is an opportunity to validate yourself as a licensed professional, to support your clientele, to interact with the experts in the field and to become an expert in the field,” Reiss says.
The Experts: Salon owner of J. Gordon Designs in Chicago, colorist and trichology experts, Karen Gordon, said she entered this category for a variety of reasons, including finding a way to stay relevant to her clients, to attract clients and, most importantly, to help her existing and new clients.
“I felt very ineffective when a client started telling me that they were losing their hair because I didn’t know what to say other than, ‘No, I don’t think so,' and I would direct them to a shampoo to use,” Gordon says. “That wasn’t enough; we owe them a better answer. It affects people at their deepest core and that is what drove me to become a hair loss specialist. Hair loss changes the lives of the people we service and it changes our lives, as well.”
Dr. Nikki Hills of the Socah Center really got to the root of the matter, taking attendees through the biology of hair loss in her presentation, Hair Loss 101.
A key takeaway was that many things are preventable if you can catch them early on. “Time equals follicles,” Dr. Hill says. “The scalp is not smart enough to know that is an open wound and let’s replace it with follicles. Instead it is going to put scar tissue down there so we need to intervene within six months.”
A powerful demonstration of consultation techniques was put-on by Christine DiBenedetto of Big Life, Thin Hair and Wink Salon. On stage, she talked to three models and role-played the way a client could broach the sometimes-sensitive topic of hair thinning with her client. Joining her to demonstrate the art of the consultation was Jeffrey Paul of Jeffrey Paul for Restoring Beautiful Hair.
“You want to gather information about why they are coming to see you so you know how to help them,” Paul says. “It’s not about handing them a form and just saying ‘fill this out,’ it’s about reminding them that while this is a very emotional topic, you don’t want them to make an emotional decision, you want them to make an educated decision.”
Continuing the consultation theme, Saretta Bowerman of Blue Water Salon and Pattie Wood of 5th Ave. Salon addressed the specifics of talking to a clients for hair extensions and hair systems.
Following lunch, sponsored by Groh, small breakout sessions called Head Talks allowed attendees to get up close with the sponsors and hear updates on the brands and to ask questions of their representatives.
Sunday's Head Talks were conducted by Evolve Hair Solutions, Capillus, easihair pro,Groh, Aderans Hair Goods, HairMax, Grace Bigoen, HairUWear, Inc., and Viviscal Professional.
"Understanding the Special Needs of Your African American Clients" with Evie Johnson, E & E Hair Solutions shared solutions for meeting clients halfway with their beauty "wants" while preserving the integrity of their hair.
"At a very young age, you see little girls with braids in their hair, hanging long, and they are nice and tight," Johnson says. "Then they want to style it and when they do that, they are causing inflammation and scarring and it’s a domino effect. By the time they are fifteen they have bald patches. This is our culture. We feel like beauty is long hair. So all these bad effects are all happening because this is what we choose to do."
Johnson recommends that clients, with the guidance of their stylists, adjust their service expectations and schedules: limit the frequency of services, adjust the weight of braids and dreads, and avoid chemicals on the scalp.
Head of the Class: A panel discussion, moderated by Quick, was composed of:
Some of the questions included...
Q: What are some suggestions for marketing services?
Jeffrey Paul: Tell your story and your great successed with video blogs—vlogs. Tell the stories of the clients you serve and make it consistent.
Evie Johnson: I always talk about this in the consultation because I want to be able to use before and after photos along with your client’s testimonials. I never market hair loss, really, because my clients market me. There is so much word-of-mouth.
Q: Have there been any challenges that you’ve had to find creative ways to overcome?
Brent Hardgrave: I invented a hairbrush. I needed one that worked for me.
Frank Rizzieri: Coming from the salon part of the business, I found that moving into hair loss, I wasn’t worried about attracting clients, I just wanted to make sure we could deliver. Also, I had to find the right people in the salon who can lead this process. It has to be a team member who has both compassion but can also teach the technical side of things.
Karen Gordon: One of my coworkers joined me because she has a passion about her work, she’s compassionate with people, and she is a good student. This is about science, more than art.
Stay tuned for much, much more from the MODERN SALON Hair + Summit in the days to come!