Professional Beauty Products in the Drug Store 

How To Tell Your Client Buying From You Is More Authentic


You’re chatting with your client post-appointment, running your fingers through their tresses you’ve just worked absolute wonders on, and you’re half-talking, half-admiring your work. You politely do exactly what you’re supposed to—run through maintenance, suggest tips for care, and of course, recommend they purchase a to-die-for product from you that’ll help them keep that glorious do lookin’ drop-dead gorgeous.

And that’s when it happens.

Your client turns to you, thanks you for your suggestions and says the words we all hate to hear:

“You know that product you recommended? Well, I found it in my local drugstore the other day for, like, a lot cheaper. I think I’ll just buy it from there.” 

We’ve all been in this situation before. 

Where on earth do you even begin?

It’s not that your client is wrong, exactly—they probably did see that product in their local drugstore. 

Except what they don’t know is that by purchasing that “product” they’re likely not getting what they think they’re getting, and they’re more than likely going to miss out on the actual benefits of the product you’re thoughtfully recommending. 

What they’re probably getting a diverted product, or rather, a product that’s either counterfeit, old, an expired or diluted formula, or a formula that is no longer safe for use. 

So, how do you express these points to your client without coming off totally biased? I mean, in a way, you kind of are—if they buy from you instead of that local drug store, you’re reaping the benefits, right? 

Right. But just because that’s the partially the case, it doesn’t mean that’s the whole picture. So, how do you begin to paint it?

We’ve laid out a few tips for professional and polite talking points to best explain to your clients the reason those drug store beauty products aren’t always the right choice.


Have the Diversion Talk 

If your client has never heard of a diverted product, now’s the perfect time for a polite education. Diverted products—which can be found in drug stores—likely have an allure to clients who are otherwise uneducated, so by giving them a brief glimpse into the world of diverted products, you can provide them with value and knowledge they can take with them for the rest of their lives.

Diversion occurs when brand-name products are sold in places that are not exactly authorized. Explain to your client that most professional brand products have to be sold in authorized spas, salons, or related websites—which is why you’re authorized to sell the real-deal products. 

Diverted products often have that too-good-to-be-true price, but at the end of the day, you’re not actually getting the value you think you are.

Why? Because diverted products are oftentimes counterfeit, diluted, old, expired, or unsafe—their formulas, most of the time, aren’t top-notch, so they won’t actually give your clients the results they’re looking for. Diverted products can do more damage than that, though—when they’re sold in unauthorized places, they could be contaminated! 

Explain to your clients a few main points about diverted products:

  • Diverted products do not come with professional recommendation
  • Diverted products could realistically be a knock-off, a dangerous formula, or ineffective because they’re not the proprietary formula

Explain Convenience 

You don’t just want to throw a boatload of negatives at your clients when you start talking about professional beauty brands in drugstores—instead, change the conversation to explain the positives associated with purchasing directly from you, an authorized seller.

You’re the stylist who’s directly involved with your client’s hair health, so you’re always keeping track of what they’re using, how often they’re using it, and most importantly, when they run out of their must-have products.

Talk about setting up convenient restocks for your client to be ready when they need them—you can align their appointments with these dates, arrange quick pick-ups, or even schedule a quarterly mailing system to make your client’s life easier.  


Respectfully Disprove the Price Point Argument 

Oftentimes, clients want to argue price points with you when it comes to professional products found in drugstores. Aside from the point that those diverted products might not be the real deal, you can also politely disprove that point.

Explain to your clients that The Beauty Industry Fund found that diverted products end up costing significantly more than salons were charging for the same products.


Give Your Client the Value Spiel 

You value your client, so make sure they know it with this educational discussion. Offer rewards programs, loyalty programs, incentives, and more that show your client clearly how much you value that they choose to buy from you. 

We’re talkin’ discounts, frequent buyer rewards, styling lessons, free trims, etc. However you want to finagle it, there’s something you can offer your clients in exchange for purchasing products directly from you that can showcase how much you value them.  


Have some advice for your fellow beauty industry babes and bros on how to talk to clients about professional products in drugstores? We hope so. 

Leave a comment below to give us the scoop on how you navigate these delicate but important conversations!