May 2013

Lisa Kind - Editor

The Mane Objective | by Marco Pelusi


Gray, Gray, Go Away — Keep Your Clients Here to Stay

As hair professionals and business owners, we are constantly seeking new demographics and looking for more business from our existing demographics.

Let's face it, we want new clients that need us, and need us for life.

One focused target is the maturing clientele. This target base covers a wide spectrum of both men and women alike who are experiencing the onset or continuation of gray hair growth and regrowth.

Any individual with any amount of gray hair, particularly women who do not wish to see one strand of it, can become loyal color clients. They may even perhaps turn out to be your most loyal clients.

This targeted demographic may also have more established wealth, therefore, enabling them to become reliable paying and returning clients. Once you've performed a service that changes someone's graying hair to create a more youthful appearance or feeling, you've got a client for life.

The color business is often built on a graying client base. No one wants to feel as though they are aging. Step into the world of anti-aging marketing that you see all around you and market your hair services and salons to the more mature client.

Educate your graying client base on the color options you or your salon has to offer. It's a win-win for you both -- you are looking to change the nature of graying hair, create more service dollars for yourself, as well as increase client loyalty -- your client is looking to cover gray hair, look and feel younger, and find a quality haircolorist and location.

Your color options will depend on how much gray a client has and how much gray they wish to cover. If they have a small percentage of gray or if they want only a gray blending effect, you can offer a demi-permanent hair color service which will fade gradually over six weeks or so. If they have a very high percentage of gray and/or wish to completely cover the gray, or prefer to go lighter than their natural color, you'll need permanent hair color.

Remember, you can always refresh both the mid-shaft and ends of the hair with a demi-permanent formula while still using a permanent one at the scalp area. This adds shine and creates a healthy appearance on the graying hair. Also, don't overlook the graying male clientele in your targeted base. Be creative with lowlighting for your graying male clients, and/or demi-permanent coloring as well. Be willing to generate additional services and possible business-generating promotions in this fashion.

For graying clients that seek your color services who have fine, flat, or thinning hair, suggest styling tips to add volume. Offer your graying client a styling lesson either at the end of your hair service or perhaps at a separate appointment. Focus on what products will bodify or volumize their fine, graying hair. You can create retail sales opportunities for yourself and your business while solving needs for these clients.

It could be as simple as adding a root-lift product or perhaps a more complete styling lesson involving how to utilize hot rollers with proper gels and/or sprays. Most clients, especially as their hair changes with more gray, don't know how to properly style their finer, graying hair.

For those graying clients with dry, over processed, or coarse hair, recommend a conditioning regimen. A graying client with any frizzy gray is a great candidate to receive an on-the-spot deep conditioning treatment with his or her appointment. During the treatment, explain what products you are using and recommend those products for home conditioning use.

The coarse or frizzy graying client, especially the color-treated one, will have areas of his or her hair where the cuticle layer is left open. As professionals, we must do our personal best to close those open cuticles and maintain the quality and integrity of hair, especially to help seal in hair color longer. Use conditioning products that contain protein to seal the hair shaft, helping it to look healthier longer. Improve graying hair health with weekly or bi-weekly moisturizing hair masks that contain moisturizing ingredients. Offer these services in your salon and to your clients as at-home maintenance regimen.

It is these kinds of offerings and more that bring clients back to you and your location, and can affect your book or your bottom line. By targeting graying mature clientele and offering color, styling, and conditioning services and products to meet their needs, you can literally change the look and health of your graying clients' hair, leaving them feeling younger and more positive. And, who wouldn't come back for more of that?

Marco Pelusi is globally recognized as a leading haircolor authority, platform artist and educator, and celebrity haircolorist. Pelusi created the Marco Collagen Color Guard HairCare System, the collagen system developed for color and chemically treated hair. Marco is available for one-on-one intensive color training at his studio. For more information, visit



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