Hair loss and thinning hair are emotionally charged issues for women. And they’re common problems. A recent L’Oréal Professional survey showed that a third of women have experienced hair loss – many before they turn 30.
And hair professionals know that the problem can affect anyone, whoever they are.
Some clients might be a little reassured when they read in lifestyle and celebrity magazines that their favourite movie and catwalk stars, like Kate Moss and Cameron Diaz, also suffer from thinning hair.
But these stars can afford the expert and regular attention needed to ensure their thin hair looks as full and shiny as possible whenever the cameras are focused on them.
But the truth is that ordinary mortals have to do their best with much more modest resources.
So how does a specialist in styling thinning hair go about helping their high street clients?
We talked to Danny Smith, Hair Director at Simone Thomas Hair & Beauty Salon in Bournemouth. They’re experts in treating hair loss and hair conditions for both women and men.
“I always start with a consultation with the client,” says Danny, “because they know their hair best, and I like to listen to their concerns, and their ideas, first. It’s about building a long-term relationship with them – gaining their trust so we can work on this together. ”
Danny’s first priority is to address the health of the hair, especially since thinning hair can be worsened by too much colour, bleach, heat and tight styles (never use elastic bands!). “When the hair is healthy and shiny it looks fuller and less transparent” he says.
Then there’s the cut. “I like to use simple, blunt cutting with straight lines”, Danny says, “because that helps give an illusion of fullness. I also like fringes, which draw the eye more to the face. And feminine, bo-ho styles like plaits and soft curls, or beehives, which help to give volume. I know some stylists use a more choppy, layered cut, but I like to keep as much hair as possible and that means cutting as little as possible.”
And colour: “I prefer darker colours, maybe with a golden highlight, because that helps fill the gaps and makes the hair look more abundant. And using darker colours means avoiding bleaching, which we know is really bad for thin hair.”
Danny likes to see clients around every 6 weeks. That gives time for the hair to settle and treatments to have their effect. And he’s conscious that few clients can afford professional attention as often as Hollywood stars: “So we always advise clients what to do at home, like gentle blow-drying and dry styling, and which products we think will be effective and safe for them to use.”
Danny has some final advice for clients with thinning hair: “Don’t worry. You’re not alone. There are lots of things that we, and they, can do to help. Stress is a big contributor to hair loss, so relax and be good to your hair!”
Would you feel confident advising a client who is anxious about hair loss? Knowledge of trichology gives you a deeper understanding of the causes of female hair loss and appropriate treatments, enabling you to offer your client effective and reliable advice. To find our more about issues affecting hair and scalp health, come along to one of our national Events, or take a look at our flexible Courses.