The Fellowship for British Hairdressing recently hosted its first Hair Health evening, presented by trichologist Trisha Buller and hairdresser Errol Douglas MBE, and supported by Viviscal.
Trisha explained that while hairdressers needn’t be medically qualified, being able to recognise hair health issues is good for business - it builds trust and relationships between clients who are grateful for the help that they may not receive from GPs. Trisha also added that considering how much of hairdressing relies on powerful chemicals and hot tools, it’s alarming to note how few hairdressers are aware of anything other than the basic science learnt during training.
With boundless enthusiasm and encyclopaedic knowledge, Trisha talked attendees through the various types of hair loss and their causes, as well as potential solutions. A hairdresser herself, Trisha is now a qualified trichologist and sits on the board of the Institute of Trichologists. She explained that,
You’re not a medical expert and it’s important to remind your clients of that, but by being able to help them recognise problems and refer them to an expert for a solution, you’ll build trust and better relationships.
She explained the importance of building relationships with local GPs, trichologists or hair transplant surgeries, so that you have an approved set of solutions that you can prescribe.
In challenging times for salons, having this expertise is your USP. Even if you can’t help yourself, pointing them in the right direction means clients can rely on you.
The second part of the evening saw Errol share his insight as a salon owner, particularly one working with a lot of hair extensions and braiding services. He explained that he saw a lot of traction alopecia, and being able to refer his clients to a trichologist or recommend Viviscal has helped countless clients and built lasting relationships in the process. He also presented a model that epitomised ‘hair health’ to him and talked about how he often had to work with hair models whose hair was at breaking point after countless shows.
Trisha and Errol explained that the best way to talk to clients about hair loss is quietly and discreetly, so the whole salon wasn’t hearing about it. They also recommended talking eye-to-eye, rather than in the mirror in order to make things less awkward. Trisha suggested asking if they’d noticed anything untoward or mentioning that their hair felt a little different from the previous appointment. Both suggested recommending and referring but not diagnosing, noting that proper diagnoses for hair loss requires blood tests and a more in-depth consultation from a medical professional.
The evening ended with a lovely Q&A covering medical hair loss and pregnancy hair loss, as well as recommendations for approved treatments.