Ask the Experts: Speaking Professionally About Hair Loss

Elizabeth Jakaitis | August 2, 2016 | 1:49 PM

Trichologists and hair loss specialists offer advice on speaking professionally and intelligently with clients about thinning hair and offering effective services that will build client trust.


Why should trichology services be offered in the salon?

With more than 100 million men and women experiencing thinning, aging hair or hair loss by age 45, it guarantees nearly half of your salon clients will need to be introduced to a proven solution to help assure they have and maintain more youthful looking hair.

As MODERN SALON points out through HAIR+, trichology is the next big era for the beauty industry. Millions of potential customers are waiting for you to say one thing: ‘We can help you with your aging hair or hairloss.’

Trichology combines dermatology with cosmetology concepts to create a new, ethical salon service and
a massive retail opportunity. The specialized products are not just aimed at the hair shaft but at the scalp and hair follicles where healthy growth originates.

Implementing trichology as a new business model does not require years of training. At Head First, we offer
a three-day trichology certification training, a line of scientifically developed, eco-friendly products, specialized diagnostic assessment software and ongoing support to help the beauty maker excel in this new era regarding scalp and hair health.

Licensed hairstylist, certified trichology specialist and vice president of marketing for HairVisions International


How should stylists approach the subject of thinning hair and promote hair loss services to their clients?

A conversation regarding scalp problems and hair loss respectfully deserves privacy. If you can’t have a private discussion at your station, find a place in the salon where you can privately sit with your client. When you have an existing relationship with your client, it’s much easier to broach the topic of hair loss, but even so, it is sensitive subject. If you are working with a new client, tread lightly. Ask her if she is happy with her hair and ask if she has noticed any changes with the texture and density. This helps to break the ice.

The best way to promote these services is to truly understand the issues you are treating. Become certified, or, if you are a salon owner, hire a certified trichologist to have on staff. The International Association of Trichology offers a great program geared toward licensed cosmetologists. Learn about scalp, skin and hair so you can offer treatments that make a difference. Unless you understand what you are treating, the treatment will fall short of its purpose and can have an adverse effect.

World Trichology Society Certified Trichologist


How should a stylist respond to a client’s concerns about hair loss?

Explain the variety of treatments available that can benefit someone with thinning hair or hair loss. Ask the client if they are interested in more information. It doesn’t hurt to arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can about hair loss and trichology. If you need to refer the client to a hair loss specialist, have that information available for them. Let them
know you have a good working relationship with your specialist and will work with them.

I suggest not trying to sell a client a product without understanding the cause of the client’s hair- thinning problem. If the client is concerned about hair loss, I would suggest they consider seeing a trichologist or a dermatologist. The client should ask their healthcare provider to run a series of blood tests to rule out other health issues. First you have to find out why the hair is thinning. Then you can make scientific recommendations. If the client buys something that is not recommended for their condition and nothing happens, you have just lost their confidence.

United States Trichology Institute board member, World Trichology Society-certified trichologist and owner of O 5th Avenue Salon in Bradenton, Florida


What is the key to applying extensions so that they blend into hair?

There are two very important factors in blending the extensions seamlessly into the client’s hair. First, Hair Couture provides a broad color selection for the stylist to choose from in matching the perfect shade for their client. The second part is the skillful installation by the stylist.

Hair Couture not only educates stylists on how to properly install extensions into their clients’ hair, but also how to conduct a proper consultation to determine the
right kind of extensions based on the clients’ lifestyle. The only way someone would feel uncomfortable is if the wrong type of extensions were put in and they were not suited for the client’s daily activities. Hair Couture also has how-to videos on all our products on our website for anyone that needs a refresher.

Hair Couture vice president, master stylist and educator


How do you help clients maintain a healthy scalp environment and educate them on scalp and hair health?

A healthy scalp is part of healthy- looking hair. That’s why a scalp analysis is an essential part of every personalized service experience available at Aveda. We’re elevating our service by using a scalp camera during the guest consultation that helps confirm the guest’s scalp condition. We then recommend products that will help create the optimal scalp and hair environment.

Aveda also offers professional in-salon hair and scalp services called Botanical Therapy.

Botanical Therapy salon treatments give clients luminous, healthy-looking hair by tapping the wisdom of Ayurveda (the ancient healing art of India), combining the power of touch with aroma-therapeutic essential
oils to create a healthy scalp—the foundation for beautiful hair. Plant micro-technology penetrates strands for intense moisture or repair with customized treatments to meet clients’ personal needs, restoring balance to the ecosystem of their scalp and hair.

Aveda global creative director, senior vice president of creative


If a client is concerned about the versatility of extensions, what can you tell her?

Making our extensions look natural is effortless. The opportunities are endless when it comes to styling Invisi-Tab extensions. I do not like the idea of high-maintenance hair, so I live by my easy-to-wear philosophy. Clients need to feel like they can mimic what you do in the salon at home themselves. These extensions can be worn straight, curly or even put up. It’s all about the application and cutting techniques that I teach to my stylists.

There are two key factors that make our extensions blend seamlessly in the hair. Our tab is completely invisible in the hair and lays flat to the head, making them unable to be seen and felt. All of our hair is the highest quality and can be completely customized with color and lightener to blend and match every color desire.

Educator, Invisi-Tab Hair Extensions


How can you address eyebrow and lash thinning?

Hair ages in two ways: chronologically and hormonally. As we age, hair declines in melanin and sebum production, which causes it to become dry, dull and lose density, volume and sheen. The same is true of lashes and eyebrows. External factors such as lash extensions, lash curlers, over-tweezing and pollution can also cause brittleness and breakage.

Clients who have hair-thinning concerns will also have lash and brow concerns and will be looking for ways to address these trouble zones. Having a highly trained team of ambassadors in this particular field of expertise will help clients find specialized solutions. This is paramount to building trust and strengthening client relationships so you become the go-to establishment for expertise in anti-aging solutions for fine and thinning hair, lashes and brows.

Athena Cosmetics, Inc. global education director

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