Hello again my friends, Anthony Colello aka @dukeofhairs here with some tips and tricks to help you have the most successful consultation with your hairstylist when you go in for your next hair appointment.
It can be a sketchy thing to make significant change to your hair. That meeting of minds between you and your stylist must go smoothly or else bad things could happen with your hair.
I have been a professional hairstylist for over 15 years and have had a ton of successful client service experiences and I’ll share with you all that I know.
We as your hairstylists are a lot of things but let’s start with all the things that we are not.
First, we are not magicians, as much as we might try to please you some things are impossible. Really, they are impossible.
Second, we are not psychics either. We need to hear it from you what you like and dislike.
Finally, we cannot turn back the sands of time if your hair is in a bad place.
Here is what we can do for you and what we would love to do for you as your hairstylist.
We can help you in every conceivable way.
So, let us run through the most important aspects of a successful consultation.
The first thing that you and your stylist need to establish is what your expectations for that day of service are.
This is where you and your hairstylist can use pictures and other inspirational ideas in order to set the tone of the day’s service.
We will dive deeper into pictures later on.
This is an important place for you to hear what your stylist is saying.
We almost constantly have a client who would like to have silver ends on their dark brown hair. Now this is technically possible, however, a lot of different factors must align just right.
So, the stylist/client/hair journey could be considerably longer than a single appointment and could require substantially more upkeep or cost than you as a client are realistically willing to do.
Another example would be hair repairing.
Some days a client will show up in my chair who has had a terrible hair experience that leaves their hair broken or fried. Now she and I will talk at length about where we can get to, but it is going to be a long-term play. The process of getting her hair back to healthy could take several weeks, or longer.
If she expects to have silky soft hair in a couple hours, her expectations need to come back down to reality.
Expectations are the foundation of the client/stylist consultation and should be managed according to your personal hair situation.
Speaking of your personal hair situation; your ENTIRE hair history is critically important to us as hairstylists.
To have any and every color that has been on your hair is NOT AN OPTION.
Now I’m not talking about color you got in high school if you are 40. I’m talking about any colors that have been on the hair that is currently on your head.
This can go back surprisingly far depending on how long your hair is. I’ve had clients where I had to get almost 4 years of color history in order to insure a complete knowledge of what I was working with.
A professional is not going to make you feel terrible about using some box color on your hair in a time of desperation.
(Yes, we will tell you to stop doing it!)
Any stylist that makes you feel like a terrible person for taking matters into your own hands needs to chill out.
This isn’t a guilt trip game.
My team and I over at TouchUps just want to know so we can make the right decisions about your hair and set realistic expectations for today’s service.
Which, if you remember from above is a very, very important part of a successful salon experience.
Please don’t lie to us during this part of the consultation.
We are experts and can see almost all the variations in your hair color. If you deny and deny and deny that you put anything on your hair, or conveniently forget to mention that one time you bleached the ever-living daylights out of your hair we could have serious problems.
It is very akin to going to a doctor and just outright lying about your lifestyle. You might feel better being told you are ok, but you are not ok.
Maintenance is a question that should be completely addressed in a hair consultation. Maintenance comes with two main parts for you and your hairstylist to consider.
First is your current maintenance. What do you do to your hair right now? Questions include:
- How often do you wash your hair?
- How often do you blow-dry your hair?
- How often do you use hot tools in your hair?
- How often do you get your hair cut?
- How often do you get your hair colored?
- What products do you use to maintain the health of your hair?
- What does your lifestyle look like? Are you active or outdoors a lot?
Secondly, you should cover what proper maintenance for this new hair or yours is going to look like.
This is because some styles, while looking, phenomenal, are a huge pain in the butt to maintain and a good stylist is going to make sure that you are well aware of what you are getting into.
Things covered should include:
- How often will I need to come in to get my hair done?
- What does my future appointment schedule look like?
- How should I style this to get the most out of it?
- Will I need to get specific treatments and or color services to keep it up?
If you are well informed on your desired style’s maintenance you will not have to worry when it comes to looking good all the time.
If you are underinformed you will most likely have great hair when you walk out the door and quickly come to find that it has turned into meh hair much faster than you anticipated.
Demanding a style even when you know you aren’t going to keep up with it is like buying an expensive car and not getting the oil changed.
It IS going to crap out on you soon and fixing it will be a nightmare.
Pictures-should I bring them
I know you have the burning desire to ask about pictures.
Do stylists love them or hate them?
My team and I love them.
Reason being that they help us quickly bridge any communication gap between ourselves and the client.
Meaning, if you are saying highlights but really want balayage we will be able to quickly diagnose a picture and be able to use our expertise to inform you of the differences between what you are saying and what you are wanting.
The huge offenders here are always the latest and greatest techniques because the fall into a single term lumped to mean a type of look.
For example, lots of people use the term balayage, but they can really mean baby lighting, foilayage, ombre etc.
Now a few important points on pictures for you as clients to understand.
Almost every picture is tampered with. Everyone wants their work to look its best, and with a few quick adjustments in Instagram or Photoshop, you can turn golden highlights ashy, red hair super red, brown hair deep and rich etc. Heck, I can take ten years off a client in a matter of moments with the Facetune app. (Lol.)
Your results will vary according to your exact hair type. We have a very popular salon in our area that does a look very well on social media. Now if you are not a client who looks like their Insta people it would seem to be foolish to come out looking like one. A lot of the bright blondes on the net are already born blonde and they are just getting enhanced by their hair. Not saying you shouldn’t have the conversation, just saying listen to what the stylist says.
We are not all equally skilled in all things. If you bring me in a picture of a Guy Tang fantasy color that he built his empire on, I will do everything my skill allows, but I am not him. I don’t have his experience and knowledge as to how he created that look specifically. This industry does share a lot of tips but even the well hair educated among us are sometimes just going with our gut. All this to say, give us a little leeway in the finish. We really, really, really want you to be happy! It is a matter of pride for stylists to have their clients love it. If we don’t have a clue hopefully, we will tell you so.
Please bring in pictures of girls that have your hair type/ texture. It really is as easy as searching “blonde highlights on thick curly hair” or “red hair on fine wavy hair”. This saves the hairstylist from having to crush your dreams entirely. I cannot tell you how many times in the salon I have had to sit there with a fine haired girl who is showing me some chick with mega volume and layers and break her heart. I know that anybody reading this blog or watching my video on this subject probably has a pretty good idea what kind of hair they have but again keep it real for us.
I reserve the right as your stylist to tell you I don’t like a look/won’t do it. I am an expert. I eat hair fashion for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I have a reasonably wide scope of what I like, however some looks were not good when they came in and/or are even worse when they are dated. Let me balance what your real needs (volume, texture, length, etc.) with what looks flattering and is appropriate for your style. If I don’t want to do it, respect that. If you must have it. Find a stylist who likes the look and will do it. Don’t berate your stylist because we are not confident we can create something you will like. We are doing you a huge favor.
Ok, so that covers pictures. Use them appropriately and they will be your best friend when communicating with your stylist. Use them foolishly and we will be in the back talking about your crazy hopes and dreams for your hair. 😛
Covered already in pictures was the need for a client to understand where their hair is now and where will be truly possible for it to go.
Of course, if you aren’t sure, that’s what where our training will help us show you and guide you into a look that meets your needs and fits you like a glove.
I don’t have a lot more to say other than some looks are amazing on others and not great for you.
If you have a round face, a shag haircut may not look as flattering as you want it to.
Can it be done well?
But maybe not just like that one you saw on the internet on the 20-year-old supermodel. If your hair is super thick it can look so good short. Maybe that stacked wedge bob would be more trouble than it is worth.
A true hair artist will look over your entire face/head/neck/hairline and determine what your hair is willing to do easily.
They will know how to bring out your best features and disguise your worst ones.
They will know if your texture is suitable to the look you want or if it is a pipe dream.
They will want you to know not so they can feel smarter than you, but so you can make the best decisions for your hair going forward and have amazing hair every dang day.
The process conversation is where you and your stylist have now naturally arrived.
We’ve hopefully had all the previous conversations and can now lay out what today is going to look like.
Are you getting a base color, all over color, highlight, balayage, treatments, glosses, glazes, toners, haircuts etc!
Sometimes I will have a client who was scheduled for something small and I sit them in the chair and they want a whole makeover!
I always want to leave a client fully satisfied but if her process desired is going to add two hours to an appointment on a busy Saturday I may have to break it into a two-appointment series or even reschedule it entirely
(WHICH TOTALLY SUCKS FOR BOTH OF US).
So, if you want a change give your stylist a little heads up eh?
Even if it is the day of the appointment call the receptionist and let them know you are looking for a change and they may be able to direct you to a different time slot where your stylist has more time.
Hear me on this though.
If your stylist is in a hurry you are at a higher risk for a process to be shortcut.
So, if you are looking for a change, clear your schedule and be prepared for a longer then normal appointment.
We just had a woman come in with beautiful hair but a year’s worth of roots and she wanted to be blonde. It took Hermon, one of my most excellent stylists, 6 hours to do the processes while maintaining the health and beauty of this lady’s hair.
It’s on our Insta and I’ll show you it here because it was stunning but yes, it took half a day.
The penultimate part of a great consultation is a discussion about products.
Yes, we do want you to use what we use.
No, it is not solely so that we can take your hard-earned money.
- We as stylists want you to use our professional hair products because they rock!
- We know how they rock.
- We know they will rock on you!
- We are here to take the guess work out of hair maintenance for you!
It blows my mind how many people will roll into Sephora or Ulta and talk to a trained salesperson.
Not, I repeat, NOT a professional makeup artist, and will roll out with $200 in stuff.
Yet this same person will hem and haw over a phenomenal recommendation from their hairstylist, who by the way, is a pro all the way around.
I know what you do also, I know most of you who turn down my $30 amazing recommended product will walk out my doors and end up at another store and end up getting something you have no idea works like what I used for $24.
Do you order steak at chick-fil-a? No! you go to a steak house and pay the dollars for the quality.
It is the same deal with us.
I DO NOT want you to wash our $200+ color job with crap shampoo. It will ruin the color and you will not like me for it. Rant over. My apologies.
So, when your stylist puts some products in front of you during your conversation, listen.
If you can’t afford them all pick up one a visit. They should last months and months so you shouldn’t be needing refills every time you come in.
If you can’t even afford that you may want to consider backing down your hair dreams a smidge.
Again, as I said above, nobody wants you to have amazing hair the day you leave the salon and gross hair a couple weeks later.
Yes, you do need those products to keep it amazing.
This conversation leads us perfectly into our last category.
In order to avoid to many scary surprises in your wallet. Pricing should be covered in the consultation.
A professional stylist should be able to get within $20-30 dollars of the price for your services after a thorough consultation.
We don’t want to hit you with a $300 service price tag when you were expecting $100.
It’s happened in my salon and we have long conversations with both the client and stylist about where we lost the link in that communication. Of course, we are usually forced to make it right and that is why are people are now trained to communicate cost up front.
Come to Jesus moment for me. I do not consistently have the price conversation.
I always felt that if someone was worried about cost it would come up.
This is not a particularly uncommon view in our industry so if you are concerned about total cost SPEAK UP, we won’t be offended, and it could save you from some serious sticker shock.
Hair pricing varies widely depending on market, salon, stylist etc.
Some people will do everything you want for $100 others could be $300 for starters.
If you will have a lot of trouble affording what you want on your hair today (same as products) it may not be right for you.
I know it sucks but it will help your hair look better and more beautiful every day instead of great for a couple months and then grown out and sad for four months until you can afford to get it done again.
I as a stylist have come from tickets under $100 to now over $300 consistently and it took a lot of years and 1000’s of clients to get my experience where I needed it to be to justify my pricing.
However, it is not negotiable, if a client can’t swing my price I politely refer them to a junior member of my team whose price point is more in line with the client’s budget.
This is akin to trying to buy a Louis Vuitton bag but only having enough for a Michael Kohrs.
You are still going to get a great bag, but you aren’t going to be able to be in the exclusive club of LV just yet.
That’s everything I have for you ladies.
I hope this was super helpful and I am amazed that my clients and I can cover so much in 15 minutes (how long my consults usually are).
I really hope this guide helps you out the next time you are looking for a change with your hair.
It is a weakness in a lot of stylists’ repertoires to hustle through consultations and miss the opportunity to really blow you away with our knowledge and expertise.
I know that’s what you crave when you come to see us and my team and I at TouchUps thrive on this level of experience.
Please feel free to come in and visit us if you are ever in Chandler, Arizona!
We would love to meet you and help you pick out the greatest hair look you have ever had.
Come Visit Us!
I again am Anthony the owner/master stylist here at TouchUps Salon in Chandler Arizona.
If you would love to come visit us at our salon we would love to have you.
I have personally trained my hairstylists to consult with purpose so we can truly understand you needs and the possibilities with your hair.
We love being creative with an eye for you and your hair’s true potential. So, if you are in the area please come see us!
Anthony Colello – Master Stylist, TouchUps Salon @dukeofhairs
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