Tips for Hair Stylists: How to Battle Diversion

It’s no secret diversion is the dirty word of the hair industry. But the reality is it’s become such a dirty word that your clients–the people you need to help battle product diversion the most–likely don’t even know what it is and how they’re contributing to the problem. It’s time to take control of the term, battling the problem head on to boost your stylist career, help your clients make informed decisions, and, of course, help them get the hair deserve.

1. Embrace being an expert. 

There’s no use in gaining all that knowledge if you’re not going to put it to use! You need to see yourself as a go-to resource for your clients and potential clients, a person who can answer their questions and solve their hair dilemmas. Use social media to engage with your existing clients and community members. Post hair tips and product recommendations, share photos of your work, and give updates on last-minute openings and available spots.

2. Educate yourself. 

There’s no better way to battle diversion than to start with your own education. You’ve been using your stand-by products for years, but it’s also important to know what else is out there. What products does your favorite line carry that you’ve rarely or never used? Your salon? What other lines should you be investigating? Consider creating lists of go-to products for all different hair types and problems. In addition, educate yourself on drugstore brands. You know they’re not the best solution for your clients, but being able to give educated explanations of why they’re not great options will give your client greater understanding when it comes to their own choices.

3. Talk to your clients! 

Stylists are quick to shy away from talking about products when behind the chair, but there’s a difference between being a salesman and being a resource. If you just slip in a “want to buy a product today?” line at the end of the appointment, chances are it will feel off and be unsuccessful. During an appointment, it’s great to catch up and have a friendly relationship, but be sure to steer the conversation to your clients’ hair. Ask what they’re main struggles are, if any new problems are occurring, what products they’re using, and if they have any questions. Give personal recommendations and be sure you’re explaining how you’re using the products and tools you’re selecting for their hair.

4. Own the d-word. 

It’s okay to talk to your clients about diversion! It not only helps protect you but the client. Explain to them to be careful when purchasing salon products in drugstores and box stores because of lack of quality control. In addition, explain that products that come with a guarantee (like Nioxin System 1) lose that guarantee unless purchased through salon-reliable sources.  And it doesn’t hurt to explain how it benefits you, as well, but frame it thoughtfully. Explain that your clients are your number one focus and you want to continue to be able to serve them to the best of your ability.

After all, your dedication is to helping your clients feel and look good, and if you give them the amazing services you’re capable of, they’ll want to thank you. Consider giving them them more options for supporting you, as well, through setting up resources like a personal hair salon store to give them the flexibility to still support you while outside the salon.

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