3 March 2024

Industry Stories: Schwarzkopf Professional Artists reflect on #StrongBonds with their #ForeverLoyal Clients

Forever clients are the most valuable assets to a successful profession in beauty. Whether it boils down to common taste, proper use of products, or a genuine friendship that underlies each salon visit, beauty pros thrive on the loyalty of their clients. After countless interviews and years in the industry, these are what we at Estetica call a forever client.

Schwarzkopf Professional launched the #StrongBonds campaign to place these moments on a pedestal and honor the beautiful connection that the leaders in the industry have experienced and continue to experience in their lives. The campaign got submissions from all over the globe in various languages, evidence that this friendship is a phenomenon that happens in chairs around the world. Check it out here!

Using the latest learning tools Schwarzkopf Professional equips their artists with all the technical and business skills they need to result in that authentic connection with their clients and here are the stories that they have encountered in their accomplished hair journey.

We asked SKP Regional Education Manager Amber Hug, SKP Guest Artist Genia Church & SKP National Education Manager Lisa Elliott why they believe this is such an intangible, but essential, aspect to being a hairstylist straight from their personal experiences!

“A client will tell her hairdresser more than her therapist sometimes!”

Amber Hug Schwarzkopf Professional’s Regional Education Manager, says the relationship between a hairdresser and client is almost like a friendship. “That is why you sometimes hear people say ‘I had to break up with my last hairdresser.’ It is a bond that is hard to break, because the relationship is not just about you doing their hair, it is also about them being able to talk to you. A client will tell her hairdresser more than her therapist sometimes! Part of that comes from the personal touch that you have when you are doing someone’s hair. They feel closer to you because you are massaging their head, and making them look great in the process. A client can come in after a bad day, and leave the salon with a smile on their face. That comes not just from looking better then when they came in, but also because they were able to talk to you about their day, or issues they have going on in their life!
I had a client and was able to give her a great strawberry blonde hair color that she loved, and I cut her hair into a graduated bob to give her hair some shape. When I got done, and she looked in the mirror she cried… she informed me that she has never felt so good about herself before. She proceeded to give me a hug, and continually thank me for making her feel so good about herself. It is moments like this that melt my heart, and give me a passion for our industry!
This is a definite instance in which she became a forever client, and until I moved away, she never went to anyone else, and was very loyal.
If a client has an intangible bond with you, they will tell all their friends and family. This is how you are going to grow your business the fastest, and why it is vital to create that intangible bond.

“It is an incredible privilege and an honor to be part of someone’s life”

SKP National Education Manager Lisa Elliott knows hairdressers “get the privilege and joy of seeing someone transformed, of actually impacting a life by affecting someone’s confidence and sense of self, there is really nothing like it. We can transform how they feel about themselves completely with a new look, or as simple as just refreshing their current look.
Taking a friend/client into the salon who only ever trimmed her middle of the back-length hair to give her a fun makeover as a reminder of how beautiful she will be when her hair grows back after pending cancer treatments. We cut it to her shoulders, highlighted it and did her make-up… she was thrilled as she had never had the courage to do anything so ‘bold’ before… this was definitely a time of fun and laughter during a difficult season in her life.
When I chose to leave the chair for a corporate position and had to tell a longtime client going through a painful divorce… I dreaded it… she looked up at me with fear and sadness in her eyes and in a desperate shaky voice said ‘oh, no Lisa but what will I do now?’ We had shared many visits with her opening her broken heart to me and I could only assure her she would be fine and she would get through this difficult time in her life.
That’s when I really realized the very #StrongBonds we make with clients. As far as loyalty and forever clients I think of how I had clients through many generations of their life from marriage, to having kids, to the kids school proms etc., to them getting ill with breast cancer to, to helping them through the stages of breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery, to the return of cancer, to losing them, to continuing to do their children’s hair. It is an incredible privilege and an honor to be part of someone’s life and having them be a loyal client to trust me during both the mountain and the valley times of their life… all the way to the end. Not sure I can pinpoint what ‘made’ her trust me but the longevity of the relationship… and the fact that she asked me to come to her home and shave her head while she cried (a most vulnerable time for this proud and accomplished woman)… clearly demonstrated that she did.

“No one who sits in my chair is there just by chance”

SKP Guest Artist Genia Church feels “like this is my life’s ministry, I experience so much through the stories my clients share while sitting in my chair. I have experienced the journey of life with my clients from proms, graduations, career changes, first dates, marriage, and unfortunately divorce, mid-life crisis, and loss of a parent or spouse. People pour into me and I feel that God has placed them in my path so I can pour into them during these times. No one who sits in my chair is there just by chance. It’s a neat thing to sit back and watch how God has blessed me with a career that has a strong sense of purpose. To be able to experience all these life events with my clients – I am often one of the only constants in their lives. Whatever hardships may arise, no matter the life changes, they know they have their standing appointment with me every 4 to 6 weeks and that doesn’t change.
There are a couple of stories that come to mind. One client came in after she had been to several places trying to correct her blonde. Her self-esteem had been affected throughout this bad process. She was reluctant to try yet another new stylist but I explained what I would do and made her feel comfortable enough to let me try – I did it! It was a successful color correction. I earned her trust and she’s been a client now for over 17 years.
Another client came to me who had a scalp condition (alopecia) which caused permanent hair loss in the crown of her head. She was very self-conscious about this as she had a hard time covering it up. I was the only stylist she had found who could give her a haircut that would conceal the area well enough. Because of this experience and because of the level of trust I built with her, she too has been a client for over 17 years.

For more stylist stories, visit www.strongbonds-stories.com


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