Last week I had a woman come in looking for a silicone oil for her hair. I asked her why she was looking for a silicone oil for her hair and she told me “that’s what my stylist said to use to fix my extensions, to make the frizz go away and to help get the knots out.”. I asked her how long she had her extensions in for and she told me 1 week. (I swear, I would have guessed a month.). “Oh, I see” I said. “Yeah, I know they look horrible. My stylist told me I am not taking care of them properly. I guess I am just stupid or something.”. It was then that I asked her if her stylist had told her how to take care of her extensions to which she said “Yes. She told me to go to the drugstore and make sure the shampoo was moisturizing and then she said…” it was then that I stopped her. I actually put my hand up and said “Stop right there. Hold on one minute.”. I took a breath and said “this is not your fault. I am sorry that you spent so much money ($400.00 by the way) and were given the wrong instruction.”. I let her know that she should wrap her head each night, or at least put her hair in a low ponytail/braid before bed. That only professional Salon sulfate free shampoo should be used with extensions. That a flat iron spray should be used when using a flat iron – not a silicone oil like her stylist told her. The poor girl just looked at me. Her eyes began to well up, then stopped. Her look turned from despair to anger, and rightfully so. “My stylist didn’t tell me any of that. In fact, she made me feel like I was an idiot and disrespecting her when I told her I thought there was a problem with my extensions!”. We spent the next 20 minutes talking product and after I rang her through, she thanked me for my honesty. “You are the first person who told me the truth about my extensions”.
The point of today’s tale? Clients and customers come to our Salon’s because they trust us. They trust us with their family secrets, the latest neighbourhood gossip, their fears and their self doubt. Most importantly, they trust us with their hair. It is our responsibility as stylists, Salon managers and Salon owners to guard that trust and help our clients and customers to protect their investment in themselves. It is our responsibility to explain;
- the importance of the proper shampoo, especially for color clients. Explaining that professional Salon shampoo will protect the their color whereas drugstore shampoo will effect the vibrancy of their color = color fade.
- how to apply shampoo – to emulsify it in your hands, then apply mid shaft and work your way up.
- that sulfate free shampoo’s do not make lots of bubbles or suds. To make more of a lather, add more water. Adding more shampoo just wastes the shampoo and leaves the hair greasy and lifeless.
- the difference between leave in conditioners and conditioning treatments. Yes, sadly many woman I have helped were using a conditioning treatment and leaving it in, which in turn messed up their hair, on many levels. * I ALWAYS stress the importance of rinsing out vs. leaving in. Trust me, your client may look at you like you have three heads, but they will thank you for it later.
- all mousses and root boosts are thermal activated. No blow drying? No volume. Plain and simple.
- the importance of thermal protection. Every client that uses a flat iron MUST have a flat iron spray at home and it MUST be used each time a flat iron is used. *the hair spray today will be cooked into the hair tomorrow without the use of a thermal spray.
- All oils and serums should be applied to damp hair BEFORE blow drying or to dry hair AFTER using a flat iron or curling iron. * oils and serums are not thermal protectants. I want you to think of a hot pan on the stove – what happens when you add oil to a hot pan? Exactly.
- how to take care of extensions. How to wash them. How to style them. Which products are best to use.
- how to take care of their hair after a perm
- how to maintain smooth tresses after a chemical straightening
- how to wash their hair when they have had vibrant colors applied.
In my experience, almost every customer thanks me for being honest with them, for taking the time to explain things to them, the how’s and the why’s of hair product and hair care. Take a moment to speak with your clients about their hair and hair care routine, explain the importance of protecting their investment in themselves. They will thank you for it. As for me…no thanks needed.