Does this sound like a consultation you’ve had with your hair stylist?
‘Remember that perm you had two years ago? Or what about those highlights from about 18 months ago? You threw a box colour over those a month later because you changed your mind and couldn’t get an appointment with me right away, remember? Oh and how can we forget the trouble we went through stripping that colour off! Once we got close to your natural colour you decided to leave it alone for awhile and let it grow. All so long ago! Your consultation is just full of memories – we’ve been through a lot of hair colour together!’
As hairstylists we call a conversation like this ‘hair history’. It’s the story of whats happened in the lifetime of your hair and what we use to formulate your colour before we begin your service. For clients who have been with a Hair stylist for a number of years this consultation is far less complicated. We know your history, the services and colours that your hair has endured. Great stylists even have notes from the consultation and formulas on hand for reference! But what if your a first time client going for a consultation? OR what if you are a regular client that had a little ‘mishap’ since your last service? What happens then?
Your very first consultation with a new hairstylist should be DETAILED. Questions which may seem silly to you can in fact hold very valuable information that we need to anticipate how your hair will react during your service. For returning clients, your subsequent consultation (yes – there should be one) will contain lots of questions on your experience with your hair since your last visit. So if a hairstylist asks you ‘Is there any hair colour on your hair right now?’ or ‘Have you had hair colour since you were last here?’ and your answer is ‘NO’, here’s a few scenarios on how this will all play out:
There really is no hair colour nor has there ever been hair colour on your hair. Congratulations! You are officially a hairstylists dream client and have won the ‘We can make your hair ANY colour you want!’ Prize. Seriously – you are a catch! A hair colour virgin! We’ve heard of you but until now thought you were a rare mythical creature only seen in our hair colour dreams. Yes, we are excited.
There is no hair colour left in your hair because its all faded out – and anyway that was 6 months ago. Those highlights that you covered up with said colour – you can’t see those anymore either. What difference would it make now? So considering all that you answer ‘NO’. Visually this may be true – you aren’t ‘lying’, you honestly thought the colour was gone. Red Flag!! Let’s say you are asking your hairstylist to put some highlights in your hair. After sitting forever to have all the foils put in your hairstylist comes to check to see if you are ready to rinse and oddly asks you ‘Are you sure there isn’t any hair colour on your hair?’. There staring back at us from the confines of that foil is the exact line where your new blonde goes from beautiful and light to orangey and dark. That’s the old hair colour. Oh and look there where it goes from beautiful and light to white and shredding. That’s those old highlights. Yep. We could have formulated for this – had we only known.
You want to confess but are afraid to hurt our feelings. Or your embarrassed or you just feel some things are better left unsaid. For example, you didn’t prebook your appointment last time and couldn’t get in when you needed to and your roots were a nightmare. You did what you had to do and threw a ‘rinse’ (aka Box Colour) on or went to another salon where they could fit you in right away but have vowed to forget the whole thing ever happened and never speak of it again. So you answer ‘NO’. Red Flag!! See the results from Scenario 2. They apply here as well.
Let me fill you in on a little secret: ‘We can tell you did it’. Seriously. There are very, very few cases where we look at the hair during consultation and can’t tell whether it has been previously coloured or not. But as in these scenarios above when we ask you ‘Is there any hair colour on your hair?’ and you say ‘NO’, we tend to believe you. Actually we want to believe you. The hair history you give us at the beginning of your appointment helps us get you the hair colour you want. If we have all the information (no matter what you really wish was better left unsaid) we can anticipate problems and account for them. We can realistically tell you what is going to happen, considering your hair history, and exactly what your options are to get you to where you want to go.
Moral of the story? Spill your heart out in the consultation. We don’t judge. Tell us every single, little tiny thing you’ve ever done to or had done to your hair. Have long hair? Get comfy – that’s a good 3 to 4 years of story telling you have ahead of you. Spill it sister. We’ll just be here listening and taking notes!
Thanks for listening,