Monday, 9 May 2016

Dealing with Clients' emotions as a Trichologist


In running our hair clinic, we have had to deal with different things including professionalism, the fact that no two disorders are exactly the same, and one thing… EMOTIONS.

I noticed that people come with different expectations, and leave with varying reactions, and it has been a learning curve for us.

On a particular day, I had three patients back to back. The first one had traction alopecia, and wanted to start feeling bad at the end. I told her to be very happy because her problem had a solution. She cheered up but had issues settling her bill, so she had to wait for a long time. By this time, I had gone far with the next client, who had scarring alopecia, and came with her husband.

When the first client was leaving, she had a glimpse at the hair loss of the second one. I’m sure she must have said to herself “Wow, thank God for my own problem,” and left happier than she was earlier.”

Now this second woman… this was the most heartbreaking reaction I had seen. She was just so sad that she couldn’t disguise it, when I told her most of the hair in the affected area would most likely not be recovered. Her husband told me he believed it would. It was a Friday, and I later heard she cried over the weekend. It wasn’t even funny at all.

I have had other clients with scarring alopecia who said something like “Really? It’s that bad? I don’t have time for all this, I’m just going to shave all of my hair off,” and they go on bubbly. Same conditions, different attitudes.

I don’t like to be the bearer of bad news, but as trichologists, we are not allowed to make false promises. Even though we have our own hair care brand, I would not in good conscience push products by lying to clients, just because we want to make sales. Once a follicle is gone, then it is gone. Our duty is to make sure it doesn’t spread, and the remaining ones are managed, so hair can grow from them and thrive.

Please if you notice a hair loss patch on your head, which is spreading (or not), see us immediately. It can be arrested before it becomes damaging to the health or self-esteem.

Many people come to our clinic, and they leave happy because of the ray of hope that flashes before them. They leave with treatments, recommendations, and they start seeing result. Few others come, and the reverse is the case, because they came too late. All we can do is work with them so things don’t get worse. Some of them are downcast, though they try to cover it, while others just accept their fate and move on.

How do we deal with these varying emotions? We just make sure we try to be professional at all times, and offer all the encouragement and emotional support we all can.

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