We have all been there.
Either we’ve said or we’ve heard it but we’ve been there.
The line I’m talking about goes a little something like this.
“You know what, just do whatever you want I trust you.”
Then an hour or two later depending on whatever you want was, you turn that styling chair around to face the mirror….and the tears, the shock hit that client like a runaway freight train.
Does the look suit the client? Of course…does she look better for it? Definitely, but you forgot the magic wand that makes her capable of having the confidence to wear the awesome new do.
This is not all clients of course, most of them are so completely impressed and satisfied and the new glow coming from inside them makes them look ten years younger. Most are so satisfied that they drop you a huge tip and bounce though the parking lot eager to face the day…or night.
For the client who has entered shock, depending on the level of shock the first thing I try is to send the client home to marinate with it for a few days and get the reactions and positive reinforcement from their friends family and co-workers needed to keep up with the “new” and improved look. I tell them if they still feel they don’t like it then they can receive a, re-do on me.
There is the greater extreme which thankfully has not happened to me directly but to my fellow stylist. The client is facing the mirror and even before the cut or color is done they are fidgeting in the mirror picking up newly colored strands of hair and shaking their head with worry, crying, groaning “just wait till it’s all done” the stylists say.
As for me, “just do whatever you want” has proven to be a lazy statement. Most clients have an idea of what they want, or what they want to look like and more often then not the stylist will picture something different on them. “just do whatever you want” gets from me statements like, “no, tell me what you want” “here are some books”. Or if the situation calls for it, I will say tell a 40-something lawyer that she would look great with a purple Mohawk. Not because she would look better under it, but because she said do what you want and at the moment I may feel like doing it.
Yeah, if this is the statement you get from a new client prepare for disaster. To avoid disaster you may want to try a few lines on that client.
“How much time do you want to spend on your hair?”
“How do you style your hair?”
“Do feel comfortable using tools on your hair? How about products?”
“Are you willing to invest in color care shampoo to protect your color?”
“What is your favorite haircut, when you look at a magazine or a person on the street what cuts do you admire, even if you think you won’t look good with it, I can modify it for you”
Like I said, taking, “...do whatever you want" literally has the potential to be disastrous. A client from one walk of life, a stylist from another, chances are that someone is going home unhappy. Clients, take the time to look at other people on the street, magazines, if anything jumps out at you bring it up to your stylist and talk about it. Stylists, take the time to investigate and when the client won’t give you any help…bring out a bowl of bright orange dye and see if that will loosen their lips. Bottom line less expection and more communicatione
Seriously, I can here my fellow stylists thanking me now. And….
NO! I will not recommend a good box color for you.
NO-Even though it says professional it is not “professional” unless there is a professional applying it. (note the huge color lacking spot at the back of your head) and even then the color sucks.
NO! I don’t have a favorite because I don’t use them!
Yes! That is exactly why your color is fading so quickly, drying out your hair and taking on funky shades Duh!
So there is that.
I’m sure there are some savvy folks out there who are able to color their own hair (somewhat successfully) at home but I have yet to meet them and let’s face it, usually it’s a one shot deal.
Usually the result of box color is a disaster, sure the top gets done but the back is undone. There are multi shades throughout the hair strand….I can go on and on but…
You know what? If you color your hair at home everyone can tell so just stop. Your roots are grey you’ve got an inch of some odd off color and your ends are five shades darker then the roots. You see it we see it and were all screaming STOP DOING IT!
And stylist you need to start charging a consultation fee instead of wasting your time and breath on someone who wants to save a few $$$. Your time, education and experience is worth $$$ and you can discount them the $$$ when and if they actually show up for an appointment.
Hope we all learned something about giving advise and taking it.
Check back for part 2 of this article "The Ugly Choice/Several Uses for Store Brand Shampoo"