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No matter the intention, miscommunications are prone behind the chair. An inch to a stylist may feel like a yard to a client or one person’s red can be another person’s orange. While communication and understanding between stylists’ are usually close to the same perspective, clients may see things differently. For example, a request for “golden” highlights, could come out “warmer” than your client would have hoped causing undue stress for both. That’s why we’re detailing our top tips for client consultations when it comes to talking about tone!

Stylists go through an infinite amount of education, constantly growing and changing. We learn about colors theory, are trained to see layers of undertones, and organize hints of color families. Since education about color is constantly evolving, we can do our best to teach clients along the way – ensuring communication gaps are minimal.

Client Consultation Tips for Hair Color

Start with warm versus cold

The most significant distinction between tones is usually between warm and cool, which is a great place to start. Most clients can understand these differences because they are on opposite sides of the spectrum and are relatively large groups of colors. Warm can be associated with anything from pink to red and gold, while cool usually refers to green, blue, and violet. Within each of these families, there is an infinite array of variance – so stick to the basics before getting into the details.

Refer to images

Hairdressing is a highly visual career. Even if you are excellent at communication, visual representations are the quickest and easiest ways to ensure you and your client agree. While discussing warm versus cool and ashy versus golden can get a little hazy, showing a photo and agreeing on the outcome are foolrpoof. *Pro-tip: When referring to images, be sure to find and decide upon tones similar in base color and skin tone to your client.

Discuss Upkeep

Discuss with your client that this is not a one-and-done process. Hair and hair color is prone to change over time, which means clients need to be ready for the upkeep.

  • Gray coverage clients are recommended for touch-ups every 3-4 weeks to minimize grow out.
  • For highlights, it is recommended that toner or gloss be applied every 4-6 weeks to ensure the tone stays true.
  • Balayage or lived-in hair color can usually get away with going longer between appointments but is usually best to see a stylist every 8-12 weeks. 

Using a color-safe and/or a color-depositing shampoo is vital in between appointments. Suggest using a lavender or blue-toned formula to keep blondes’ and highlighted brunettes’ brass at bay, and a color-safe formula to protect hair color against fading.   

Product Suggestions:

Redken Color Extend Brownlights

Redken Color Extend Blondage

Redken Color Extend High Bright