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When a client with thinning hair sits down in your chair and asks for your advice, do you know how to answer her? Do you know the right products to recommend? Which to avoid?

Hair loss is a sensitive subject for the women who experience it, and they’re looking to you, a trusted expert, to guide them to solutions that make them feel confident and beautiful.

We asked Harry Wood, stylist and educator at Van Michael salons in Atlanta, Georgia, for his top tips.

1. Know when to talk about thinning hair.  

Chances are, you may notice your client’s thinning hair even before she does. If that’s the case, start a conversation with a few gentle questions about her own perception of her hair. “There are many factors that cause thinning hair,” Wood says. “Hereditary is a tough one, because you can’t change your genetics. But there are things you can do to slow down this process and if it gets too bad, there are always surgical or medical procedures for lasting results,” he adds.

“Supplements are a great place to start because they work from the inside out,” Wood says. “At Van Michael, we recommend Nutrafol to our guests as part of a total home-care regimen to address thinning hair. It’s the perfect first step to combat changes in the hair.”

2. Work with hormonal changes.

“There are many factors that affect hormonal changes such as age, stress, pregnancy and medications,” Wood says. “As a licensed professional for almost 30 years, I’ve seen enough case studies to prove there is a direct correlation between hair and hormones. We don’t always have the time to do all of the things we need to do (like getting enough rest and proper diet) to reduce stress and increase nutrition, which help support our hormone balance. As a supplement, Nutrafol is a nutraceutical, and contains natural ingredients that provide nutrition and address the hormones your body needs to produce healthy hair and skin.”

3. Recommend professional products.

Part of your job as a hair-care expert is to recommend the right products for your clients’ hair. And for clients with thinning hair, that recommendation is particularly important. Whether it’s a thickener or a volumizer, you should explain the benefits of using each product you recommend.

“At Van Michael, we’re an Aveda Salon,” Wood says. “To achieve thicker hair with more volume, my guests enjoy using the Pure Abundance line shampoo, conditioner, and styling products. For thinning hair, my personal preference is the Invati line with the scalp revitalizer. For guests with sensitive scalp due to thinning hair, I recommend the Pramasana scalp cleanser along with the Pramasana protective scalp concentrate.”

4. Discuss lifestyle changes.  

While there’s not one simple fix for everyone, there are steps women can take to make their hair and skin look its best.

“Diet and exercise are important factors, and so is stress management,” Wood says. “Nutrafol is a perfect addition to assist the licensed professional in helping guests have healthy skin and hair from the inside out, by addressing the effects of stress and supporting whole body wellness with high quality ingredients.”

5. Re-evaluate haircut/length and talk about extensions.

Hair length is a personal preference based on lifestyle, age and maintenance. It’s easy to get in a rut when it comes to a hair cut, so it’s important to discuss length/style during every consultation. Taking off an extra inch or two or adding in layers could be the key to making a client’s hair look thicker.

If your client is interested in a wig or extension, some salons, like Van Michael, work with Backtoyou.org as a certified alternative hair provider.

“The stylists at Back to You have been trained to work with the medical hair loss community including: cancer clinics, infusion centers and surgery centers to service guests who have cancer, alopecia, and other forms of medical hair loss,” Wood says.

“We also carry extensions by Vomor to provide stylists with solutions for all types of thinning hair,” he adds.

It’s a common misconception that extensions are for length only. Many women successfully use them for volume as well, which is why it’s important to explain how they work in the consultation.