Words Have Power if They Will Tell Their Story

By Perri Davis, Senior Marketing Specialist, Jon Renau

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As a proud hair stylist or alternative hair professional, it’s only natural to want to share your amazing work and heartwarming transformations. What’s more, having a strong online presence that educates and inspires through testimonials is your business’s key to success.

Perri Davis

Society has come a long way in overcoming the stigma of wearing alternative hair, and with this rising acceptance, it’s easy to assume that a client would be comfortable sharing their hair transformation online.

However, if there’s one thing I’ve learned as a stylist it’s that hair reflects a person’s identity and plays a substantial role in one’s self-esteem. While hair loss is common, experiencing it can surface solid emotions and is often kept hidden from one’s community. Hair loss is extremely private and personal, and each person in the chair must be treated with sensitivity and compassion.

Kevin Bryan, a second-generation hair stylist, educator and hair restoration expert, has experienced success from his online marketing efforts. Before and after photos, testimonials and short-form videos for social media skyrocketed his career. He owns Hair By Kevin Bryan, a salon in Temecula, California.

We sat down with Kevin to learn how he builds trust with his clients and empowers them to be photographed and open to sharing about their hair loss journeys.

How do you start a conversation with your client about taking before and after photos?

I always take (pictures) before and after for them personally to see the process. I generally start the conversation with something like, “Wow, you will have such a transformation today! We have to document this!” After the work is done, I will ask, “May I have permission to share these images? I find it really gives others hope and helps them to see that there are amazing solutions.” Nine out of 10 times the guests are more than willing.

What do you say to help them feel more comfortable?

I think instilling confidence is key. Lots of affirmations and really helping them own the new look is my priority. When you make them believe they look good, it’s almost always a yes to share images.

If a client says no the first time, do you approach them with it again? If so, how would you adjust your approach?

Actually, no. This is big for our brand culture. We have created a “pressure-free” environment for our guests and we recognize this is very personal.

Do you have any personal stories you want to share about where your approach went positively or negatively? What did you take away from this experience?

I once had a hair replacement client book a session at the last minute and we had a cancellation. That day, I happened to have my videographer present in the room when the guest entered our private studio. I cordially introduced them and let my guest know that we had done some filming that day, hence his presence, and then asked if he would be willing to let us get some shots of him being worked on that day. I could tell that he was very uncomfortable when he was reluctant to answer right away.

I immediately realized his level of discomfort and assured him there was “no pressure” and that he could absolutely say no. So, he did. And I made him feel great about it. I excused our videographer to lunch and resumed his service.

My big takeaway was that it’s nice to let the clients know in advance when we’re filming. I always ask for permission in advance, and I always respect the “no.”

Do you have any tips or do’s and don’ts when sharing a client on your marketing channels?

Be specific about what and where you’d like to share with the client. We once had a disgruntled guest that had previously given us permission to take video footage. He did not realize this would be posted on Instagram, which he’s active on, and we later got the call with a request for the post to be taken down.

Anything else you’d like to share on this topic?

Again, I can’t stress enough having clear communication with guests about sharing their images. We must always ask permission, respect a “no” and work to create a pressure-free experience.

The main thing to get the “yes” is to instill confidence! Encourage them to own their new look and foster an environment of compassion, encouragement, and trust. This goes a long way.