Online articles and videos provide lots of information to salon goers.
This is a great way for clients to get tips on how to do the latest date night hairstyle. However, when know it all clients follow the varying logic of non-licensed hair bloggers and DIYers, it can be torture during the client consultation.
You know the type of client that I’m talking about. This client wants to know the PH balance of all the products that you use and if they’re tested on animals. They want to know if your product line is manufactured with wind technology and if your flat iron plates are ceramic or titanium.
Most stylists can answer these questions. However, some of the questions you get won’t be so easy. Rather than panicking and making up an answer, it’s fine to tell your clients that you don’t know.
As hairdressers there is plenty of information that we DO know, but we need to honest with ourselves and our clients about the extent of our knowledge.
Know it all clients who have questions about product ingredients that you can’t even pronounce should really be referred to the product manufacturer.
Clients who have questions about a red dot on the scalp of a Facebook friend, need to be referred to a dermatologist or trichologist.
Often times, clients forget that hairdressers specialize in styling hair safely and creatively. We don’t specialize in product development or medical issues with the scalp, and that’s ok to admit to your client.
After sharing information about what you do know, feel free to refer your client to a specialist for more detailed questions.
This referral is a professional way to remind your client that there are differing levels of expertise between a professional hairdresser and a medical hair care professional.
Find confidence in your roll as a hairdresser by learning as much as possible about your salon’s product line and general hair care concerns. But more importantly, learn how to recognize client questions and concerns that go beyond your level of expertise.
After all, "An education isn’t how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t."
In the end, your clients don't want a product manufacturer to be in charge of their wedding day hairstyle, and they probably don’t want a hairdresser doing the job of a trichologist or dermatologist.
Look up a local trichologist in your area and arrange some time to chat. The relationship will serve both of you well. You can send referrals to each other. This will give you a reference when you need to know more about the medical side of hair care. In the end, the best part is having someone to refer those impossible client questions to.
Happy Hair Styling,
Tabitha Ford is a licensed cosmetologist and self-proclaimed hair nerd who believes that hair business is serious business. She gained her industry credentials from the University of North Texas and Aveda Institute. She spends her time blogging about hair styling and practical solutions for freelance hairdressers and small salons. You can find her on Twitter @smallsalonbiz. Subscribe to her blog at: SmallSalonBiz.com.
Images via: Marcie Brockbook Marketing Maven, list.co.uk