Ask the Experts: Building a Business Serving Hair Loss Clients?
How do I build business serving hair loss clients?
Jeffrey Paul, co-owner with his wife, Zina, of Jeffrey Paul Restoring Beautiful Hair Center in Rocky River, Ohio, founder of Wigs for Kids and author of "The Solutions to Women's Hair Thinning and Loss," talked to Western Beauty Director Alicia Marantz to share some guidelines for professionals dealing with clients suffering from hair loss due to alopecia.
"The key to serving a woman with hair loss is to offer solutions that allow her to look like herself and live her life. This is a specialty that allows you to make a significant difference in her life. To turn it into a profitable business, you need to become a specialist in treating women with hair loss.
"I read a book called "Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant" by Renee Mauborgne. It says that in the '90s, the way to be successful was to tap into a niche. Today, you need to fill a niche within a niche. Treating thinning hair is just that. You need to be trained and certified in offering a menu of solutions to women; otherwise, you're cutting both them and yourself short.
"The first step is to evaluate the woman's scalp to determine the rate of thinning and the miniaturization (density reduction) she's experiencing. Usually, the woman will notice before her hairdresser. Examine the nape area, which is the last to be impacted by hair loss. Compare the hair's density in that area with the front hairline. The next step is to determine the pattern of the loss.
"If minimal thinning is bothering the woman, the best solution is to combine styling products with cutting, coloring and styling techniques specifically for maximizing thinning hair. Coloring with the right products will help the hair look fuller.
"For a moderate amount of thinning, hair integration will drive your solution. Integration involves building a hairpiece with hair attached that allows you to integrate the woman's own hair into the style. It ranges from adding in a couple of lines of hair at the front to add volume to a Â¾ cap all over to treat more advanced hair loss. The hairpiece is built on a matrix, which allows her to pull her own hair through and blend the two together.
"Hair extensions offer another solution. However, you need to choose extensions that are designed to work with thinning hair and not cause additional hair loss, which many fashion extensions can do. Extensions allow you to add hair from one to two hairs per strand of growing hair to as much as 25 to 50 hairs per strand. I recommended lineal extensions with a polymer strip and hand-tied weft that adhere with an elastomer bond. They allow the hair to remain secure during showering, swimming or romance without putting a strain on the growing hair.
"For women with cancer or alopecia, you'll want to offer or suggest full cranial hairpieces that allow them to look like themselves and live their lives until their own hair returns.
"There is also a range of supplements available that can help strengthen the hair through nutrition. Two I recommend to all of my clients are Phytologie Phytophanere for hair and nails and Hair Support by International Hairgoods.
"New on the scene for all clients is laser light therapy that has been FDA approved. This includes a hooded appliance for in-salon treatments and a and-held brush that can be used at home. These have been used in Europe for years, not only for treating hair loss but for maximizing the hair's condition and color, as well.
"Hair loss is like just like aging-you can either take steps to minimize its impact or let it run its course. When you show your clients that you're a specialist in this area, they'll be loyal to you for life."
Paul also presents his solutions to hair loss to the dermatology interns at the Cleveland Clinic on a yearly basis to help them understand the options and the impact of hair loss on women.