We all know building a regular clientele is a key challenge, especially for hairstylists who are just starting out or who have moved to a new location. If you are facing this challenge, I have two words for you: gray hair.
Simply put, gray hair can be a goldmine for most hair professionals. The grayer your clients are, the more money you can make. Graying clients don’t occasionally visit you for highlights or passing trends; they start making consistent, regularly scheduled appointments for maintenance. This translates to steady income — and richer relationships.
Most clients start to turn gray — or lose pigment — around their mid-30s, which is when their requests for color services tend to spike. As your clients embark on the age-old race to look younger, it is your job to help them feel more confident and transition gracefully into older age.
Clients with gray hair are not without additional challenges. For example, gray hair tends to change texture and become frizzier, drier, coarser and more resistant to hair coloring. Additionally, the pigment in the skin changes, which you must keep in mind when formulating hair color. With existing clients, you may notice these changes before they do, so it’s important to gently explain what is happening. This helps your clients feel more empowered to make necessary adjustments to their hair routine.
Another concern that comes with graying hair is hair loss. Hair sometimes thins out with age. Familiarize yourself with available solutions, from styling techniques to specialized products and even medical referrals, will help boost client confidence in your expertise.
When scheduling gray hair clients, you should do so in such a way that is beneficial to both the client and your business. Offer add-on services, such as highlighting or blending, to help manage the gray. For clients who are just starting to color their hair, offer demi-color first to help them get more comfortable with coloring. Set up a six-month plan to give clients something to look forward to (and help you plan ahead).
Graying hair also presents retail opportunities. For example, clients who are experiencing drier hair may now benefit from a leave-in conditioner. Clients who choose to “go gray” may benefit from a purple shampoo, at times, to help counter yellow tones. Clients with hair loss may want to start using volumizing products.
Lastly, the great thing about maturing clients is that they tend to know what they want and be able to pay what you are worth. I am of course generalizing here — there will be exceptions — but you can expect to enjoy less pressure to read a maturing client’s mind, or compromise your pricing in order to secure them in the long-term. Just focus on delivering the best results and watch your bottom line grow.
The Mane Objective | by Marco Pelusi | Published in Florida Stylist Magazine
Marco Pelusi is globally recognized as a leading haircolor authority, platform artist and educator, celebrity haircolorist and consultant. Pelusi created the Marco Collagen Color Guard HairCare System, the collagen system developed for color and chemically treated hair.