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How to Talk With Clients About Hair Loss


By Erin Gignac

Hair loss is very common but nobody talks about it. Despite the current narrative of our society, your job as a stylist is to try and raise the issue to best help your loyal clients. While some are open about addressing it, others may be afraid to speak up. Approach the topic with a sensitive question once they settle into your chair: “Do you have any concerns with your hair?” If your client confides in you, teach them about hair loss and what options they have moving forward.

For starters, they’re not alone! In fact, hair loss is just as common in women as in men—the patterns of balding on the scalp just appear differently. The wide-held view that hair loss is a token trait of aging is also misleading. Almost two-thirds of men experience hair loss by the age of 35, with the main cause of hair loss being heredity.

Yes, the good old gene pool may be causing your clients’ agony. They can thank their mom and dad for this one. Genetics are the main cause for men and 20 to 30 percent of women, according to Modern Salon. This trait can be inherited from the mother or father’s side of the family. Don’t let your clients assume that their cause is genetic, though. Suggest that they see a dermatologist for a scalp biopsy. (Find a doctor in the area using this “Find a Dermatologist” page: aad.org/find-a-derm.)

Other hair loss in women can be caused by pregnancy, weight loss or other hormone changes and imbalances, which may just require some time to take their course. However, if the hair loss may be caused by medication, diet or stress, suggest they find a solution by consulting a doctor. Other causes for this problem include: (1) the immune system attacking the hair follicles, known as alopecia areata; (2) scalp infections; (3) skin disorders like lupus; (4) radiation therapy; and (5) tight hairstyles like cornrows and pigtails.

Instill hope in your clients by ensuring that things can be done to help with their hair loss. The first place for them to start is the scalp. Many products on the market clean the scalp and provide vital nutrients to the area to promote growth. Remind clients that they need to make an ongoing commitment when they use hair loss products. Usually they won’t see results until a month of treatment. If they stop using the treatment, they will lose the benefits and end up where they started.

In addition to offering hair loss products and encouragement, you can suggest that they improve their diet, upgrading to leafy greens, beans, tofu or red meat to get more iron, biotin and zinc into their diet. Scalp massages can also increase circulation and stimulate the hair follicles. There are also some tricks you can apply while they’re in the styling chair. Here are some fast ways to make hair appear more voluminous:
• Switch their part to create fast volume.
• Air-dry or blow-dry the hair on the cool setting and use gentle boar bristle or nylon brushes on the hair to prevent breakage.
• Suggest they try a shorter haircut for more volume.
• Color their hair. This will expand the hair shaft and make strands appear thicker.
• Highlight their hair to match the lightness of the scalp, disguising thinning hair.
• Sprinkle hair fibers onto their scalp for instant results.
• Teach them how to use certain products that will provide thickness and volume to their hair.

There is also another alternative: tell them to embrace the thinning hair! There are always other ways to express self-confidence such as clothing, accessories and fitness routines. This method also saves time! Instead of worrying about hair loss, they can spend quality time making self-improvements that will matter a lot more than how much hair they have.

Erin Gignac covers stories for Paramount Beauty. Follow her on Twitter and view more of her work here

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