Hair Loss: Approaching a Real Issue with Care and Compassion

By Tina Lewis

With 40 million men and 30 million women in the United States experiencing hair loss, it is crucial that stylists are able to appropriately and effectively respond to this condition on behalf of their clients.

As stylists, we work with a wide array of clientele and hair types, but beyond color and curls, we must be prepared to address the more serious issue of hair loss.

While a bad cut can be upsetting, hair loss carries with it deep emotional roots that go beyond physical appearance. No matter how common it might be, hair loss is still a taboo topic and difficult to cope with, and stylists must exercise extreme sensitivity when addressing this issue with their clients.

First, a stylist should never simply tell a client they are experiencing hair loss without prompting. We are not trained as physicians or specialists to legitimately diagnose hair loss, and your client may not be ready to confront this often emotional issue.

Instead, if you notice thinning or hair loss, offer suggestions for a new cut, styling tips, or product suggestions that will help to increase volume or the appearance of thicker hair. This subtle and sensitive approach gives the stylist the opportunity to provide a temporary solution and even, perhaps, open the door for the client to further discuss the issue with them in the future.

When a client does bring up this issue, stylists must be careful to be supportive and helpful while also being certain they are offering accurate information. To reiterate, only medical professionals can properly diagnose hair loss. Once you do begin these conversations, ask questions that get the client thinking not just about what they look like, but also the history of their hair loss. Did they just start to notice loss and/or thinning of hair? Has anything changed in their life recently? Is this something they are ready to accept, or are they interested in hair restoration?

There are some very general recommendations that stylists can make to their clients when it comes to caring for hair loss:

1.) Reduce stress: Just as an increase in stress levels can affect weight (gain or loss), it can also affect hair loss. Making a conscious effort to remove the stressful elements from one's life can positively impact hair growth.

2.) Massage the scalp: Stimulating blood flow across the scalp can help to ensure follicle and skin health and good circulation.

3.) Take a multivitamin: An easy way to keep hair healthy from the inside out, selecting a multivitamin that contains these four essentials is vital for healthier, stronger hair.

Biotin: The most important supplement you can take, Biotin is vital for hair growth and strengthening both hair and nails.

Vitamin B: Helps to enhance fullness and the way hair looks by promoting blood circulation to the scalp, preventing premature grays and hair loss, and stimulating growth.

Vitamin C: Influences how hair maintains its color and the right level of moisture.

Vitamin D: Working hand in hand with calcium, Vitamin D helps to grow hair and protect it from drying and breaking.

4.) Take a Saw Palmetto supplement: This natural herbal supplement is known for its ability to block dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which, in excess, can cause thinning of hair in both men and women.

5.) Use products developed for thinning hair: Today, there is a great selection of over the counter options that offer at-home solutions for hair loss, from shampoos and conditioners, to root lifters, and more.

At this point, should your client continue to seek out your advice, the best thing you can do is recommend they research options for professional hair restoration services or refer them to a professional. There are a handful of providers of all-proven solutions, including Hair Club, the largest in the industry.

Tina Lewis is master stylist and director of technical training for Hair Club with more than 15 years of experience. She oversees the training of all company stylists and photo shoots for marketing and advertising. For more information visit