Nail that Next Hair Color Consultation
Every woman and every hairstylist has had the same fear at least once in their lives. The woman’s fear? . . . will it look good on me? Will the hairstylist know what she is doing? Will my hair break off? The hairstylist’s fear? . . . will my client think the color looks great on her? Does she trust that I know what I am doing? I hope she was honest with me about her hair color history so her hair doesn’t break off.
Hair color is a science, this is true. Making a happy client, is not. The consultation is key, I cannot stress this enough. Oh…and honesty, on the part of the hairstylist and the client is crucial. Ladies, we have all ventured down the aisle at our local drug store, picked up the box color with the dream of being a blonde bombshell only to have the dream shatter into a pumpkin nightmare.
My goal is always to educate and enlighten, to be the voice for the stylist and for the woman locked in her bathroom hating her hair. A proper hair color consultation takes teamwork – the stylist and the client. The following is a “how to” of sorts, for the stylist and for the client.
For the Client
- When you have a desired hair color in mind, bring in a picture to show your stylist. This way there is no misunderstanding of what you want. When you say you want red hair, you may picture Susan Sarandon and your stylist may picture Jessica Rabbit.
- If you have used box dye from the drug store in the last year, let your stylist know. Once the color is applied the stylist is going to find out and that is not a very nice surprise for either of you.
- If you are taking medication, let your stylist know. Certain medications will change how your hair processes color. (Thyroid/Heart meds)
- If you don’t like your hair to look golden, tell your stylist “no gold”. Most people say “no red” and stylists see red as red, gold as gold.
- Let your stylist know of any past reactions to color, such as rash or scalp irritation.
For the Hairstylists
- Clarify exactly what color your client wants. Bring out the swatch book and go over their choices.
- Be honest with your client. If you can’t give them what they want, tell them. If your client wants to be a platinum blonde and they came in with jet black hair, you and I both know that isn’t going to happen in one appointment. Explain to them the process of what needs to be done and give them options to work towards their desired result.
- Be sure to ask if they have had any changes lately, be it surgery, stress, new medications. Let your client know you want to ensure the best outcome for their color. Most people don’t realize the that stress/medication/surgeries can alter the color process.
- When your client tells you they don’t like red, be sure to clarify if they mean red or gold. In my experience many women mean gold when they say red.
- Let your client know of the possible upkeep of their choice – how often for root touch up etc. If your client doesn’t like the upkeep of every 4 weeks, offer some hi and low lights to break up the regrowth.
Nailing your color consultation comes down to having a conversation. Asking the right questions and listening to the answers. Take an extra few minutes to make sure that everyone is on the same page, this way both you and your client will love their hair.
Contributing author Sara Stancu is “That girl in the red coat”. Sara is also the manager of a salon and retail shop with over 20 years of customer service and sales experience. Her tell it like it is approach is aimed at educating and enlightening clients, stylists and salon owners. She has also been the woman locked in the bathroom hating her hair. You can follow Sara on her website That Girl in the red coat and Twitter.