The Importance of Hair Loss from a Salon's Perspective
In this article we quiz Eva Proudman on the importance of hair loss from a salon's perspective.
How important is it for a member of the salon team to understand hair loss?
Hair loss can be the initial indicator of many changes in the body, often being reflected in the hair first. As a salon, you should be able to offer professional advice on every aspect of hair - remember your clients visit you because you are the specialists. It is important that each stylist knows their clients and can answer their questions on treating their hair, particularly if there is loss or thinning involved. It is always great to have all staff trained in advising on hair loss and thinning however, you may decide to have a couple of specialists who are more knowledgeable and can offer a more advanced level of service. Latest statistics show that there is an ever increasing awareness surrounding hair loss and thinning.
It is a huge subject and can be slightly overwhelming for some stylists; how much knowledge do they really need?
Trichology is a specialised field, not only are you dealing with hair and scalp conditions, you are also dealing with people's emotions and self esteem, there is a lot to learn and to continue to learn. Understanding hair loss and becoming a trichologist are very different. I would recommend that stylists look at advanced skills for cutting and colouring fine, thinning hair, advising on wigs and hairpieces and leave the science to an expert trichologist. To put trichology into perspective, I dedicate around 15-20 hours a week on top of my full time job to studying.
How many clients really need support and advice on hair loss?
Many! So many stylists tell me that they really don't know how to approach entering into a hair loss conversation. Perhaps they have existing clients with thinning hair and they avoid the subject or they are happy to lose a client to another salon rather than educate the client on the type of loss they are experiencing.
Take a look at your client base and you will realise just how important it is to be able to recognise symptoms, approach conversations within the consultation and indeed offer expert advice. You can segment the customers by age: children aged 5-14 suffer with alopecia, infestations and infections, trauma; Teenage Children experiencing puberty; the 20-40 childbearing women who have loss after pregnancy; acute and long term; the 40-50 menopausal ladies whose hair can thin naturally and then can become further affected by menopause. We also have the guys, those who see early onset of male pattern baldness, others who are more mature but are really in need of advice and recommendation. The number of clients that you can offer advice to will be endless... not to mention the new client base you will build if you become recognised as a specialist hair loss salon.
If clients suffer with hair loss, do you need to refer them to a tricologist and then lose them as a client?
It’s important to remember that not all trichologists are hairdressers in the same way that not every hairdresser wants to be a trichologist. A trichologist has spent a lot of time training and is very familiar with every aspect of hair loss. An average consultation from a trichologist will take around one hour with the diagnosis requiring multi-pronged treatment that involves GPs, dermatologists, trichologists, and of course a hairdresser. People with partial loss or thinning hair still need to visit the salon to have their own hair cut and coloured, as well as any pieces that they choose to wear. If you offer them a great service, refer them to a specialist, of course they will want to continue to visit you for their general haircare maintenance. A trichologist should work closely with the salon and offer a superior, unique and highly specialist service that supports salon business and allows the salon to offer a higher level of service.
Will advising on hair loss really improve salon business?
Absolutely; if done professionally. There are the obvious financial benefits of selling more retail products such as Nioxin, hair extensions and hair integrations, but think further than that. Offering an additional service will set you apart from your competitors. Giving specialist advice at a time when a client needs it most will increase loyalty and word of mouth advertising. Being recognised for a niche service will encourage more clients to contact you, and of course, keeping your staff well trained and knowledgeable will boost team morale and loyalty.