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Consultation is key

There is nothing worse than finally getting the courage to get a new hair colour or haircut at the salon and it doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped. We’ve all been there, whether it was cut too short or you didn’t get the blonde you had hoped for or you just didn’t leave the salon in love with your new do. It often comes from a miscommunication between the stylist and client somewhere along the way and could be easily solved if both parties are involved in the consultation process.  This is the time when the client and stylist collaborate to achieve the look you desire.

A consultation should be undertaken before any service in the salon no matter how long you have known the hair stylist for. As a client this is the time to explain your wants and needs to your stylist and it is their time to explain if your request is realistic and achievable. Your stylist should also discuss the maintenance required to up keep the desired cut or colour including a home hair care regime, the time it will take to achieve the look and also to offer a quote if it is requested. Once you both agree on the plan then the service can take place. If all of these things are discussed properly both parties should know what is required to make the outcome a successful one. Too often we hear stories of ” she didn’t listen” or “that’s not what i asked for” which is disheartening and often the causes the fear of going to a salon. A thorough consultation can prevent this on most occasions and allow for a great relationship to form between stylist and client.

Something that can help during the consultation process is the use of visual aids such as hair inspo pictures or the in salon colour chart. In this digital age we have a plethora of images available online to help us with ideas and inspiration but one thing to always remember is hair pictures should always be clear and unfiltered, us stylists are seeing far too many hair colour images that are just impossible to achieve as they are created with photoshop or Instagram filters. This often brings unrealistic expectations of what hair colour can do and clients are left feeling disheartened.  When choosing a hairstyle try to find pictures that have a similar hair type to yours, this will again give you a better indication of what is achievable with your hair. If you are unsure of your hair type or texture your stylist can help with that. As hair stylists we are all trained in using the colour chart and it will sometimes be a tool used in your consultation. Mostly from a technical point of view stylists will use it to determine your natural colour depth or amount of grey in the hair. It can also be used to show colour tones but remember this is only an indication as most colour swatches are made of nylon and may not give an exact colour match and often your stylist will mix more than one tone to create your personalized colour palette. It is often less confusing to use a picture of a colour you like rather than being bombarded with the whole colour chart selection.

When you have chosen your desired colour or haircut inspiration you need to decide who you will choose to create your look. It pays to do a bit of research if you are looking at changing stylists or even learning what your stylist specializes in. Most hair salons will have a website or social media pages such as Facebook and Instagram. Use these to find out which salons offer what services and if they have a certain stylist that is better at a particular one. For example not all hair stylists perm or chemically straighten hair or some stylists specialize in short haircutting or mens barbering and some salons even have hairdressers who are only colourists. Like any creative job hairdressers have certain things they are better at and more passionate about so choose the one that can offer you what you need.

Changing your look is a big step that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Do your research and make sure you feel your consultation is thorough and you feel comfortable with the stylist you have chosen to perform your make over. At  our Edge Hill salon, Reds Hair & Co, we offer a complimentary consultation service where we allocate time to sit and meet with our clients prior to making their booking. This allows time for us to meet properly, talk all the ins and outs of the desired look, give a quote and make a booking allowing enough time to perform the service on the day so no one is rushed. This is a no obligation service so it is a great way to find out all the information before making any definite decisions.

It may seem obvious but a good consultation can be hard to come by. It is an integral part of a hair service and should never be rushed or compromised. Hopefully your next consultation will be exceptional and the collaboration between stylist and client is a successful one resulting in a great new look you can leave the salon happy with.

Words by Kelli Jones, 2020.