How to help the client resisting a haircare routine

Published 12th Dec 2022 by chloe
How to help the client resisting a haircare routine There are a number of reasons some clients resist a haircare routine; budget, lifestyle, being overwhelmed by the choice on the market or perhaps a lack of understanding. Carrying out a porosity test and showing them the results can help to prove why individually curated routines matter so much and explain what their hair needs. So, HJ reached out to a few industry experts to gather everything you need to know about hair porosity…

The hair porosity test

What does hair porosity mean?

“Hair porosity is how you measure the hair’s ability to absorb, maintain and hold moisture. Low porosity means it’s harder for moisture to be absorbed in the hair, and high porosity means it’s easy for the hair to absorb and hold moisture,” explains Adam Reed, UK editorial ambassador for L’Oreal Professionnel. “High porosity will also have a hard time retaining that moisture. This can lead to hair that’s really dry and frizzy, prone to tangling, breakage and tearing, all of these factors mean the hair is over-dry. The goal is medium porosity hair.” “This is the same for colour, your hair ‘drops out’ colour really easily. Working on rebuilding the damaged cuticle is how to improve the porosity, and the hair’s overall appearance,” adds Sarah Black, INNOluxe superstar. “Most of the time, the hair’s porosity is determined by genetics, but other factors such as heat and chemicals can be a factor in porosity issues,” says Leanne Lea, blonde hair expert and WELOVE educator. “Aggressive chemical treatments, such as dyes, lightening treatments or perms and the use of heat styling tools can increase the porosity of the hair, as they generate a greater opening of the cuticle,” explains Guiseppe Manco, owner of Guiseppe Manco salon. “Atmospheric agents (such as sun and wind) can also affect the degree of porosity, albeit to a lesser extent. Using a leave-in product to protect from the sun’s rays is therefore important.”

How to carry out a porosity test

One of the quickest ways to check hair porosity is to step back and look at the hair. “This test can be carried out in front of your client within the consultation. I normally take a strand of dry hair and run my fingers up and down the stand. If it feels smooth between my fingers, that’s an indication they have a good level of porosity. If it feels bumpy and rough, that suggests a high porosity. I always get the client to feel it for themselves too,” says Chloe Passmore, INNOluxe superstar. Highly porous hair may also be frizzy, tangle easily and lack shine. “For low porosity, products tend to stay on the surface rather than absorb, and it takes a long time to dry without adding heat. Try spraying water onto the hair and see if it stays on the surface.” “Another way you can test hair porosity is by popping a strand of hair into a cup of water. Wait 10-15 minutes and see if it floats or sinks. If it floats, the hair may have a low porosity, and if it sinks, a high porosity,” Cally Borg, owner of Cally Borg Hair, tells us. [caption id="attachment_93853" align="alignnone" width="812"]hair porosity leanne lea Image courtesy of Leanne Lea[/caption]

What does porosity tell you about how to look after the hair?

A porosity test will determine what the hair needs. “If the hair has low porosity, the hair cuticle is compact and needs moisture. While if the hair has a high porosity, it needs more protein to strengthen it,” says Karoliina Saunders, owner of Karoliina Saunders Hair Design salon.  “Having a hair porosity test can save time and money in the long run by allowing clients to identify products that work well with their specific hair type, rather than having to experiment with various products before finding one that produces good results,” says Emma Simmons, owner of Salon 54.

What do you say to clients that don’t yet follow a routine?

“I would try and establish why they don’t. Are they overwhelmed by the haircare shelves? Is it a budget thing? Or do they feel like they don’t need it? Find something that works within their budget, there’s no use trying to push products onto our clients who simply can’t justify that spend,” Sarah tells us. “I open the conversation about the investment they’re making by visiting the salon, having a beautiful colour and cut, and if they feel they’re getting the best out of that by not investing in their hair care.” “My clients and I have a hair relationship! I explain that we are both working together to achieve beautiful healthy hair and maintain it too, so we create a regime that is achievable and manageable,” Kerry Galliano, international art director at WELOVE shares. “I go through basic aftercare questions such as does your hair get greasy easily? Does your hair or scalp feel dry, or is there a combination of greasy roots and dry ends? Does it hold a style? If a client understands what they need and why they are more likely to buy it,” says Cally. “We must educate our clients on how to wash their hair properly and when and why to use what products. It can get really overwhelming for them, so we must be careful in our approach,” explains Leanne. “It’s so important to have a correct haircare routine that you update as your hair and scalp needs change with the seasons. A few good places to start are:
  • A shampoo to suit the needs of their scalp and a conditioner to suit the condition of their strands.
  • Ensure they are using a heat protector before any heat styling, including their hairdryer.
  • Use a satin pillowcase, scrunchies and a microfibre towel or t-shirt when ‘towel-drying’ their hair.
  • Use a product that contains protection from UV rays.
  • As well as bonding products, make sure they are also moisturising their hair using masks and leave-in conditioners regularly.”
“Your hair care regime is similar to your skincare regime. The better the products you use, the better your hair!” adds Sally. [caption id="attachment_93852" align="alignnone" width="750"]chloe passmore Image courtesy of Chloe Passmore[/caption]

Why are personally curated regimes so important?

“One of the most important things to me is that the client leaves my chair looking and feeling great, and is able to maintain that feeling for the next six weeks until their next visit. Your client is a walking advertisement, so it’s important I encourage them to follow the correct haircare regime at home,” finishes Emma. “They will certainly understand the difference of having a correct hair regime when they find their hair easier to manage, both looking and feeling healthy,” adds Kerry. “Curly hair textures will need more moisture per hair strand due to the hair follicle being an S-shape, the bends make it difficult to allow the moisture in,” says Ellie Smith Oak at Smith England. A porosity test can be a great way to showcase the importance of haircare and use the results as a stepping stone to creating a unique routine with your client. Feature image courtesy of Sally Brooks.


Published 12th Dec 2022

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