Industry • Best Practice
Aug.17,2021By Boulevard Staff
Hair loss is an incredibly emotional experience, but it’s also surprisingly common. By age 35, about 66% of men will have experienced hair loss to some degree. About 40% of women will begin experiencing noticeable hair loss by age 50. Then as we age, the likelihood of hair loss only increases. Even though it’s something that countless humans will go through during their lifetime, hair loss can still be highly emotional. Salons have a unique opportunity to guide clients through turmoil and navigate the stigma of hair loss, no matter its cause.
In honor of National Hair Loss Awareness Month, this article introduces strategies salons can implement to be professional, supportive, and compassionate while actively combating the stigma associated with hair loss.
Hair loss has many potential causes, and each one might lead to a different emotional response. In order to better aid clients struggling with the impact of hair loss, take the time to familiarize yourself with its various possible causes:
Aging: Hair loss becomes increasingly likely with age.
Stress: Physically or emotionally traumatic events and sustained everyday stress.
Hormonal changes: Major hormonal shifts like menopause, pregnancy, and childbirth.
Medical conditions: Immune conditions like alopecia areata, scalp infections like ringworm, and thyroid issues.
Medical treatments: Hair loss is one of the side effects of certain pharmaceutical drugs, nutritional supplements, radiation therapies, etc.
Certain hairstyles: Chemical and heat-activated hair treatments, hair extensions, and styles that pull and hold the hair taught.
Family history: Hereditary conditions like androgenic alopecia and pattern baldness can lead to receding hairline, bald spots, and thinning hair.
Being able to relate to clients about the specifics of their journey doesn’t just foster compassionate connection; it also enables customized recommendations. That way, you can offer the services and products that specifically speak to each individual client’s experience, circumstances, and needs.
Hairstyles that camouflage hair loss can help restore lost confidence and counteract some of the shame that comes with it. Make sure your staff is trained in specific styling options that work to hide hair troubles and remind clients of their beauty and strength. Tasteful updos are a creative way to help hide bald patches, for example, and they can be adapted to accentuate or cover up virtually any part of the scalp.
Sometimes, successfully styling to hide hair loss requires recommending what not to do. Clients instinctively reach for chemical treatments or clip-in and glue-on extensions to heal or hide hair loss, but those abrasive responses can cause more damage in the long run. Try coaching clients through the delicate balance of options focused on immediate beauty and choices that support their long-term hair and scalp health.
Another way to help clients tackle hair loss head-on is to offer wig styling services. Even if you don’t sell wigs or consult on selection at your salon, you can still serve the clients who wear them. Some clients might prioritize the pampering and indulgence that salon experiences offer, while others might be ready for a change or an upgrade to their wig of choice. Making wig-wearing clients feel comfortable and welcome in your salon is a surefire way to fight back against the societal stigma of hair loss.
Whether your clients’ wigs are made from synthetic fibers or from human hair, their unique construction will require extra attention when it comes to cutting, brushing, combing, and styling. Some salons charge higher prices for wig styling due to the specialized training it requires, but if it’s possible for your business, consider waiving those fees to prioritize inclusion and acceptance.
There are tons of hair loss products on the market today, from those that hide the symptoms to those that reduce the root causes. While salons must understand the emotion and stigma associated with hair loss, the many potential solutions and treatments available present a great revenue opportunity through retail sales.
Hair health supplements like Nutrafol and Viviscal aim to get at the root causes of hair loss from within the body.
Topical treatments from companies like Rene Furterer are plant-based and specifically formulated to strengthen and thicken hair.
Colored powders hide widening parts and thinning hair, and the best options stay put without running when wet.
Styling products like targeted hair follicle and root treatments or volumizing mousses and sprays can help hair shine in its best light.
Gentle extension solutions like hair falls and ponytail pieces can be secured with bobby pins or wrapped around the head, avoiding any additional damage.
It’s important for salon staff to be professional and kind while discussing emotional topics with customers. Although it’s not always possible or appropriate to find out exactly what clients are dealing with, taking a compassionate and caring approach will provide a solid foundation for these delicate interactions. When in doubt, try treating hair loss like a regular topic of salon conversation instead of something to be ashamed of. Normalizing the issue will help give clients the sense that you’re not only prepared to help them with their specific hair loss situation, but that you’ll be tackling it together, the same way you would any other styling decision.
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