Have you ever found yourself stumped when clients probe you with questions? While their inquiries may seem simple to answer, oftentimes you’ll find yourself at a loss for words when the pressure is on. After all, if you sound uninformed, there’s a good chance clients will take their business elsewhere. “It’s about doing your research and knowing what you do—this will separate you from the stylist who still needs to hone her craft versus someone who can really get in depth and explain [lashing details],” says New York- and Dallas-based Courtney Akai Lash Boutique owner Courtney Akai. Here, she lends her advice on how to respond knowledgeably and diplomatically to six difficult client questions.
1) Can lash extensions make my real eyelashes fall out?
It's simple: Extensions won’t damage natural lashes—when done correctly, that is. “Anything is possible in the hands of the wrong stylist,” laments Akai. Set your client’s mind at ease from the get-go: During the consultation explain why proper extension application doesn’t adversely affect natural lashes. Akai says to discuss these major reasons: 100-percent isolated extensions won’t clump together and pull out natural lashes prematurely, and using appropriate extension weights (i.e., not too heavy) will accommodate their natural lash weight and allow natural lashes to thrive.
2) Why are my eyes red and irritated when I wear lash extensions?
The direct cause may not be obvious. Some clients could have sensitivity to the cyanoacrylate in the adhesive, the tape or under-eye stickers, or ingredients found in the gel pads; others could experience irritation due to the bases of the extensions pushing inward against the eyelid skin when they’re sleeping, causing contact dermatitis. Either way, Akai suggests advising your client to first visit her eye doctor to clear up the issue. Then, tell her that after her eyes have healed, you’ll remove the extensions— but only once her eyes are feeling 100 percent. “Many clients will want them removed right away, but the problem is a lot of removers also contain chemicals that could increase sensitivity,” Akai says. By being honest and upfront about sensitivities, she reasons, you not only protect yourself, but also create client trust.
3) Why can’t I have a certain lash look?
When a client boasts flimsy natural lashes but insists on looking like Kim Kardashian West, it’s your duty to manage her expectations and warn her of the dangers. “[Tell her] you care about the health of her natural lashes and that if you give her a thick, heavy, long look it will cause stress and damage her natural lashes. [Explain that] the weight of the lash [extension] can actually pull out her own eyelash prematurely,” says Akai.
4) Why are you charging so much more money than the lash shop down the street?
The lash shop around the corner might have lower-quality and one-size-fits-all lashes, but this isn’t the time to bash your competition. “When you talk bad about somebody it turns off the client,” says Akai. “Just tell her the advantages of your business and she can judge for herself.” Walk her through your years of experience, the variety and quality of your lashes and adhesives, and the customized and personalized services you offer.
5) Why do I have to get fills so often?
It’s two fold: Maintenance not only saves clients money in the long run, but also it keeps their lashes in tip-top shape. To drive this idea home, relay the technicality of the 30- to 60-day lash cycle. “A lot of clients don’t realize that their lashes keep growing and, as they naturally shed, the extensions shed too,” explains Akai. “So when you do a full set, [also let them know that] half or more will be gone in about four weeks depending on how well they care for them.” Explain that if they choose to wait five weeks or more for a fill, most stylists will charge them for a whole new set! “That system is really for the client’s benefit,” explains Akai. “A lot of stylists charge by time, so the more often clients come in for less time-consuming fills, it [actually ends up being] more cost-effective and keeps their lashes looking nice!”
6) Why can’t my lashes be longer at the corners?
The delicate shorter corner lashes simply can’t handle the extra weight. Adhering heavier, longer extensions on these lashes causes them to eventually flip over and look displaced and non-uniform. “When you [explain this] and tell them you want ... their extensions to hold up nicely, people will thank you,” says Akai. “You’re looking out for them as well as the job you do—and taking pride in what you do.”
[Image: Getty Images]