Yes, we all know it don’t we – hairdressers have been greatly missed by their clients! Even those clients lucky enough to have had a fresh colour on the day before ‘Lockdown’ will, by now, be complaining about their roots. Across the Globe, girlfriends on Zoom, Facetime and Google Hangouts are bemoaning the state of their hair and longing for the day they can get back to a salon.

This is great news to salons as they reopen or are planning to reopen in the near future, but it also begs the question how best to sell services and advise clients, who, whilst desperate to get their hair ‘done,’ may also have lots of concerns and fears.

With this in mind, Fuse talks to Lucy Hicks, TIGI UK Field Educator and Renee Valerie, TIGI US Technical Creative Director to put together a few ideas to help you with your Colour Consultation, from booking that first appointment to using the right language to communicate with your clients.

“I think at this time each individual salon needs to evaluate what is best for them under the new guidelines,” advises Renee Valerie. “What we are seeing as US states and certain countries are ‘opening up’, is that there are many different aspects needing to be put into practice and followed.”


When your colour client phones to make her first booking what should you do?

“Know what you’re going to ask!” says Lucy Hicks, “And educate your team in the importance of correct communication and procedures.”

First of all, if your receptionist is answering the phone they need to have received training so they can ask some clear questions and give necessary information, for example:

  • Please can I check if you have coloured your hair yourself over the last few weeks? (If the answer is ‘yes’ what product was used?)
  • How big is your regrowth? (Ask them to estimate in inches or centimetres.)
  • What service would you like to have?
  • As it has now been over the time allowed/you have used other colour brands, I am afraid we are going to have to arrange a new skin test for you before we can colour your hair.
  • I am going to ask the colourist to speak to you personally.

Ideally at this point the receptionist asks the colourist to talk to the client, but it may be the colourist is too busy, in which case a ‘call-back’ is important and perhaps, a virtual consultation.

TIGI 2018 Copyright KV SBS Annie Marie – Natalie – Blondes Education_ABH_7055
TIGI 2018 Copyright KV SBS Annie Marie – Natalie – Blondes Education_ABH_7055

Is a virtual consultation prior to the salon visit a necessity?

“I personally like the concept of a virtual consultation prior to the client’s visit, as I am able to get a better idea of the timing needed for the client’s appointment” says Renee. “But remember, doing this virtually will not eliminate the entire need for an in-salon consultation. There is only so much you can see virtually and an in-person consultation will allow you to be able to feel things such as texture, porosity and elasticity, which are key to performing a colour service. And, of course, you need to preform an allergy alert test (another factor to help protect the client.)”

“If the client has coloured their own hair, you need to gauge what service they may require and they need to be informed that the cost may be different from their usual colour service, and that the appointment time may be longer than usual” says Lucy Hicks. “If possible, the price should also be agreed during this consultation so the client knows what to expect when she attends her appointment and it gives a better opportunity to evaluate what the client is thinking and feeling about returning to the salon.”

“If the client has coloured their own hair, you need to gauge what service they may require and they need to be informed that the cost may be different from their usual colour service, and that the appointment time may be longer than usual.”
Lucy Hicks

How should you approach the subject of home-colouring ?

“Although I don’t recommend it, I do believe it’s important not to be judgmental if your client has proceeded with his or her own colour service,” says Renee. “I don’t think any hairstylist should feel threatened or afraid of losing clients to home colouring services as there is so much more we offer from our professional in-salon experiences and our ability to customise the specifics of the colouring service. Remember we have a lot more knowledge and education of the chemicals being used as well as creativity.”

Communication is key!

“If a client has attempted colouring their hair at home and it’s created a less than desirable result, it’s going to require more than just a ‘touch-up’ appointment to rectify the situation! Explaining the added cost of this and the extra time needed prior to the appointment will help set your client up for what needs to be done” says Lucy.


Are you going to need more time, whether or not the client has coloured her own hair?

“It really is a case by case situation” says Renee. “If a client has only used a semi-permanent on their hair, it may be a simple service to get them back to their colour, but if stronger chemicals have been used then it may become a much more lengthy appointment and they need to know the reasons for this!”

“There’s also the fact there are new health and safety procedures that must be followed and this is certainly adding time to every appointment, so this needs to be explained to every client whether or not they’re having colour or need colour correction” adds Lucy.

“This is where having clear communication procedures are vital” says Renee. “A phone call prior to their booking or performing a virtual consultation can help set you up for success. Also your client must firstly visit for a patch test and this will allow you to see in person the state of their hair as well as allowing them to see the new salon arrangements.”


How does all this impact on costs?

“It’s important to charge accordingly for your time and expertise. If it’s taking more time or more product then I do encourage salons to increase the service charge, but this must be very carefully explained to every client as not all may appreciate the reasons!” says Renee.


Do you think some clients may be annoyed they have to have colour testing?

“Colour testing/patch testing is always recommended. On top of being an extremely important way to protect the health and safety of your client and to help protect your client from an allergic reaction” says Lucy.

Renee adds: “It’s an ideal opportunity to have your client come in for a consultation prior to their actual appointment. This way you are able to perform an allergy alert test and a full consultation which will help determine the appropriate amount of time needed for their service, book their appointment and explain what the costs will be.”


Even patch testing will need to be booked, as you will only be allowed a certain number of people within your salon at any one time.

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