The Makings of a Great Hair Consultation
I believe, in order to leave the salon 100% satisfied after an appointment, you've got to have a great hair consultation.
Some think that a hair consultation is asking a client, "so, what are we doing today" or "how are you liking your hair color/cut."
In my mind, this is only scratching the surface of the questions the stylist and the client should be discussing.
So, I'm going to walk you through what I believe to be the best topics to cover in a consultation.
Ready.... Set... Consult!
1) Be on time
The stylist your seeing and you as the client start off on the best foot when the appointment begins at its scheduled time. Not only does it show a sign of respect, but it also allows for the most change to be made during a hair appointment.
There's nothing worse than when a client comes into the salon and has an idea of how they'd like to walk out looking and they hear the words, "Sorry, but I don't have time for that today."
By arriving on time, you're giving the stylist the ability to do as much work as possible, making both of you happy!
2) Have some idea of what you're wanting to do with your hair
Sure, as stylists we're magic makers. But that doesn't mean we're mind readers. We have no idea how your kids/husband will react to you chopping off your long locks just for the sake of something different. Personally, I always am a bit hesitant when someone comes in saying they just thought of a drastic change and we going to do it! There's nothing wrong with sitting on an idea for a few days to make sure it's going to fit you and your lifestyle.
3) Learn from the past
What's been done to your hair that you've hated?
Did a previous hairstylist give your curly hair short layers? Did you ask for natural highlights and walked out with racing stripes? Do you know of any sensitivities your skin or scalp has to hair color or products?
These are all things you'll want to tell your stylist. It gives them a look into your hair history and lets them know what they should and should not do when working with your hair.
4)Talk about your lifestyle
As stylist, we want to get to know your hair and how it plays into your life.
If you're the sort of girl who wants to wake up shake your head three times and walk out the door gorgeous, you're very different from the client before you who spends 30 minutes smoothing their hair to create volume and shine. There's nothing wrong with letting your stylist know your expectations and it's their job to tell you if they're possible.
5) Pictures speak 1,000 words
It's a great idea to come in with a few visual aids that show what sort of change you're wanting to make to your hair. Even better if it's a picture of yourself! Where this can get tricky is knowing what went into creating a look that is worn by a celebrity.
6) How often will we be seeing each other?
Sure you love getting your hair done. Who doesn't? It's important to ask what sort of maintenance is involved in a new cut or color. I always laugh when women tell me it's simple to wear their hair short. I find that when my hair is worn short, I spend about the same amount of time styling it and am needing a trim every 4-6 weeks. So don't assume. Ask what you're getting yourself into.
7) The least favorite part... Price!
Let me tell you a quick story. It's part of the reason why I became a hairstylist.
When I was 16 yrs. old, I saved up enough babysitting money to surprise my mom with a gift-certificate to her favorite salon. It was a salon she'd been to maybe once or twice for a cut, being that her single parent budget couldn't allow her anything more. She struggled with her thick , heavy, coarse Italian hair my entire life. After years of watching her fight her hair, I wanted to treat her to a real experience - the full package: cut, color touch up and highlights. It took a while to save up what the total bill would cost, but I planned accordingly wanting her to be happy!
I met her outside the salon when her appointment was finished. Her hair had never looked more beautiful and I felt so lucky to have been able to have had a part in making it happen. I was confused by the shocked expression on her face and asked if she liked it. She told me that she loved it and had never felt more beautiful.
It was cost more than what the gift certificate covered. A lot more. Like $160 more, if I remember correctly. I instantly offered to go in and talk to the employee who sold me the gift certificate in the amount that would cover all her services. Confused I asked how it was that much more. My mom told me the stylist she was scheduled with has been sick that day. The salon had moved her to a Master Stylist you charged almost double the price without ever telling her so. It wasn't until she was finished with her service and handing her certificate to the receptionist she realized the difference in price. She pulled out a credit card that had just enough available balance to cover the hair appointment and walked out of the salon she would never return to.
Needless to say, we were both disappointed and all this could have been avoided if the stylist had done their job. Talking about pricing is never a comfortable thing to do. But it's no secret that we don't work for free. We all have rent to pay and families to feed. Discussing how much a service cost prior to beginning the appointment lets you as the client sit back and enjoy your time in the chair while also planning how often you're able to afford your hair services.
With my clients, I'll spend 2-20 minutes getting the information I need to be successful and customizing it according to their comfort. Hair isn't cookie cutter, it's ever changing and your stylist should be able to offer you everything I've covered in this post.
My consultations are offered as a complementary. If you're looking to make a hair change, I'd love to have you in!