Having a hair consultation is a very important part of any hair care routine, especially when it comes to deciding on a new hairstyle or color change, and should be done before you begin any type of hair service.

It doesn’t matter if you are just after a simple blow-dry, everyday style or an elaborate wedding upstyle, without your hairstylist understanding your needs, it could be done wrong. A hair consultation is the best way for you to communicate with your hairstylist and is the most important role that you will play at the salon. It is also the only real control that you will have in determining the outcome.

When making an appointment for a consultation, ask to have it at a quiet time when your stylist can give you their full attention. Don’t settle for a rushed talk as this is where problems and misunderstandings can occur.

You will need to give your stylist the following information for a successful consultation:

  • Pictures of what you do like and don’t like (on your own photo preferably)
  • A little bit of information about yourself, about the occasion, your needs, and how much time you have for home styling, including how capable you are.
  • Information about your hair’s recent history- including things such as colors done and other chemicals used that could adversely affect the outcome of your hairstyle and hair’s condition.
  • Information about any past bad hairstyling experiences.
  • You, in turn, must be prepared to listen to your hairstylist’s advice and remember to ask any questions that you may have about home maintenance, styling requirements and any hair condition concerns.
  • Providing this information is very important and will affect the outcome or new hairstyle that you take home. The first point where you show your hairstylist pictures of what you like or don’t like is the most important one. There is an old saying, “a picture speaks a thousand words” and it’s so true.
  • By showing your stylist pictures there can be no misunderstanding between you both and they can’t say that they thought you meant something else or insist that you told them something else and then changed your mind. It really helps to get you both on the same page and it will help you get your message across is a graphic way while helping your stylist to know exactly what you want and expect to achieve.
  • It may seem like a lot of things to do before you start your appointment but a consultation can all be done in 10 to 15 minutes and you will find that most good hair salons will want and allow time for a hair consultation. Through time, as you and your stylist become better acquainted, the consultation will become easier and more of a follow up procedure.

The Traditional Color Consultation

Of course, nothing compares to an actual in-salon consultation. Sitting in a comfortable chair and allowing an experienced colorist to examine your hair and determine which color or colors would best suit your features is the ideal choice if you’re a first-timer. It’s also recommended for anyone who’s suffered through a hair color disaster and lived to tell the tale.

When it comes to the colorist-client relationship, nothing is more important than communication. Walking into an appointment without at least some idea of what you want can be detrimental to both of you, and it’s always more helpful if the colorist and client are on the same page. This is why a consultation is so important: It’s the first step toward building a strong, open relationship that allows the client to feel comfortable.

Color consultations focus on several key points:

The colorist will ask the client a few simple questions to get things started on the right foot.

  • What type of color is the client looking for? Does he or she want a subtle or more dramatic change? Does the client want highlights or lowlights?
  • Skin tone, facial features and eye color are evaluated. An expert colorist takes these into consideration to choose the client’s ideal shade.
  • The hair’s texture is also evaluated. Depending on whether it is fine, medium, or coarse, the texture indicates how quickly the hair will lighten or how resistant it will be (thus taking longer to color).
  • If there is any gray hair, the colorist will take note of this in determining the right product for covering lighter strands.
  • The colorist will also recommend several hair products for the client to use at home in order to best maintain the color and style, if applicable.

Don’t be afraid to bring photographs of colors you like. This automatically gives the colorist an idea of what you’re interested in and communicates your preferences much more easily. Also, be realistic about your budget: How much you are willing to spend will also go a long way in determining the services you will undergo.

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