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Tackling the 5 Curly Girl Client Emotions

Maggie Mulhern | May 27, 2015 | 6:26 PM


Industry expert, Dr. Lew Losoncy, is renowned for his expertise on all aspects of the salon world. His speeches and presentations are usually standing room only and have inspired tens of thousands of hairdressers around the world.

Dr. Lew is bringing his knowledge to the curly world as the dedicated psychologist for DevaCurl. This June 8 and 9, Dr. Lew will be offering a limited-space course entitled Psycurlogy: Curls from the Inside Out. He will be sharing his tips and knowledge to aspiring curl experts at the DevaCurl Academy in NYC (Details below). In the meantime, MODERN asked DevaCurl and Dr. Lew on their thoughts about 5 common concerns among curly haired clients. Here is what they shared, including thoughts from Dr. Lew himself:

Stylists know that working with curly clients is, if nothing else, different. Their texture isn’t the only thing that’s unique. The emotional tie they have to salons and stylists is also different. These five emotions may be recognized by stylists working with curly haired clients:

Emotion Number 1: Fear

“5 percent of clients have salon phobia,” says Dr. Lew. “These clients are easy to spot, they tend to approach the entire experience with a sense of dread.” The cure? Exuding a sense of warmth. “The warmer the stylist, the safer the curly girl feels,” says Lew. "Stylists need to take a positive approach, expressing that they love working with their client’s hair."

Emotion Number 2: Misunderstood

Curly hair is complicated and many curly girls spend extra time on their hair, simply trying to figure it out. To help clients learn to understand their hair Dr. Lew encourages stylists to employ empathy and carefully observe body language. “Posture and body language can sometimes tell you more than the conversation you have with your client. When you observe carefully and also employ empathetic listening you can really get to the root of your client’s feelings and desires,” he says.

Emotion Number 3: Insecurity

Many curly girls battle their hair, fighting to straighten or tame it. They spend time trying to hide their natural hair, instead of learning to embrace it. “What’s important to remember here is that the heart and hair are connected,” says Dr. Lew, “Clients want to be who they are, they want to be authentic and when they’re not being true to themselves that causes an internal tension.” To help a client feel more confident Dr. Lew believes the key is energizing and encouraging them. “The right cut, one that isn’t trendy, but embraces the person, is what you’re looking to find, and the way to uncover that is through communication.”

Emotion Number 4: Problematic

Many stylists approach texture as a problem that needs to be fixed. This can leave clients feeling more like a nuisance than a person, and as a result the client can end up feeling resentful of their hair or the salon experience. “Respect is crucial to help alleviate these feelings,” Dr. Lew explains, “When a stylist is respectful of a client’s emotions and goals, the client begins to feel important, like he or she matters.”

Emotion Number 5: Wariness

Arguably, the most important part of the stylist-client relationship is trust. But many curly clients are wary. After years of negative experiences it can be difficult for them to put their faith in a stylist. “Bonding with the client can help build trust,” explains Dr. Lew. To help build that connection, stylists should employ two tools: conversation and consultation. This type of communication helps the stylist really understand their client’s lifestyle choices and how those choices can affect the client’s hair. Once a stylist has that knowledge they can use it to establish a deeper connection with their clients, and as a result they are able to build a solid, trusting relationship.

To really connect with a curly client, stylists need to employ skills that aren’t taught in beauty school. Instead Dr. Lew urges stylists to consider knowledge from the field of psychology.  “Curly girls are looking for a stylist who understands them, not someone who approaches the cut robotically,” Dr. Lew explains. Stylists who approach their clients with unconditional acceptance, and with the goal of helping clients embrace their true selves are the ones who create lasting relationships. “By learning to energize, encourage, empathize, and bond with your client you can take your business to a new level and give your work a deeper meaning,” says Lew.

The course Psycurlogy: Curls from the Inside Out will help stylists learn about connecting with curly girls. The course pursues a new type of stylist education, one that goes beyond the chair and its technical skillset and instead looks to help stylists understand their clients. For more information on the course please visit devacurl.com/academies.html.

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