Style - Hair
By: - at May 23, 2013

How to Consult a Client Before a Hair Treatment

Finding out what a client wants is the first and most important thing in a consultation

Finding out what a client wants is the first and most important thing in a consultation. You cannot perform a successful hair treatment on a client without knowing what they want. A professional consultation should include, observation skills, clarification techniques, advise, product knowledge, questioning techniques, effective communication, including listening skills and technical knowledge about hairdressing services.

Questioning techniques
Questioning techniques Asking questions is very important in a consultation, asking lots of questions helps you to get a clear understanding of what your client wants. It is also very important to make sure the client asks questions if they have any as you want to make sure that they feel as comfortable as possible throughout the treatment. All of the information you receive from the client through asking the question should be recorded on their record card. Every client must have a record card whether they are new or a returning customer.

There are two types of questions, opened and closed.

Closed questions usually only need one word answers, for example ‘have you used a permanent color on your hair?’ the answers to this question should just be yes or no.

Open questions require a fuller response then the closed questions. For example ‘how are you today’ this question is usually answered with more than just a yes or no.

Clarification techniques
Clarification means checking the details you have been given with the client to make sure that you have everything written down correctly.

When the client makes a booking you should check the date, time, the service they require, the clients name and a contact number. Once you have repeated this to the client they should confirm that it is correct if not then they will correct you.

Clarification techniques and contact information

When the client arrives at the salon reception you should confirm the service they require and the name of the stylist that will be completing that service.

Observation techniques
Assessing your client’s body language and facial expressions give you a clear idea or how your client is feeling with the suggestions you are making.  It is also vital to observe the hairs condition, growth patterns, porosity, elasticity and texture.

  • Observation techniques porosity testPorosity test This is to test the condition of the outer layer of the hair shaft (the cuticle). Porous hair will absorb water and chemical products very quickly. If the cuticle scales are closed, flat and undamaged the hair will feel smooth and look shiny. When the hair is chemically or physically damaged the cuticles scales will become raised and may even be missing. You test the porosity of the hair by taking a strand of hair and hold it by the root between the thumb and forefinger of one hand and run the forefinger and thumb down the strand of hair from your other hand. If the hair feels rough and bumpy the cuticle scales are raised and open this means the hair is porous. If the hair feels smooth the cuticle is flat and closed, which means the hair is in good condition.
  • Elasticity test – This tests the strength of the hair. Hair that has been damaged due to chemical processes may have lost most of its natural strength. This is due to the internal chemical links and bonds in the cortex of the hair becoming damaged and broken. You test the elasticity of the hair by taking one strand of hair and holding it firmly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand and gently pull.

    Elasticity test

    If the hair stretches more than half of its original length and does not return to its original length then it is over elastic and may snap or break during chemical processing.
  • Skin test – This test must always be done when a client is having a coloring treatment. It is carried out to check if the client is allergic to the coloring products. It should be carried out 24-48 hours before the coloring process so any reactions have time to come up if they are going to.

    Skin test

    A skin test is done by applying a small bit of permanent color to a chosen area this is usually on the elbow or behind the ear.

Effective communication and listening skills
To be a good listener to your client during a consultation you need to know when to stop talking, listen with interest and understanding, providing encouragement and confirming you have taken in the conversation for example nodding and agreeing with a point that may have been raised.

Client confidentiality
Client confidentiality is very important in a salon as you want your client to feel that they are comfortable talking to you about any personal problems or queries. Clients must be able to rely on you not telling anybody anything they may tell you in confidence.  For example; their address, their telephone numbers, and also information about their illnesses and disorders.

How to make successful recommendations for your client
You need to make sure that any products you are going to recommend your client are in-stock as it can be very unprofessional to recommend something that your salon does not have. You also need to make sure that anything you recommend is true and really is for the benefit of the customer as you do not want them to lose faith in you.

Record cards
Record Cards
Every client that visits your salon for a treatment must have a record card whether they are a new or a regular client they need one. You cannot use an excuse that you know the client so you do not need to complete one. It will not cover you if anything bad happens during a service and the client claims you knew about any conditions or problems she may have. The function of a record card is to:

  • Record client details - phone number, address etc. so you can contact the client if necessary
  • Provide full and accurate information
  • Ensure consistency of services regardless of who performs the service
  • Record the date of each service
  • Record any changes to the service

 The client record needs to be completed in full for every service the client has. Record cards are also very helpful for if you have completed a treatment and the next time your client comes in your colleague completes the treatment, it means that he or she can look up what you have previously done on the client or any problems they may have or had. 

client record cards

By doing this, you also help safeguard the salon, yourself and the other stylists to prevent clients taking legal action for damages or negligence.

Salons usually use one of two methods to store client cards

  1. A computerized system which is used to book appointments and also to record client information about services carried out and products used.
  2. Record cards arranged in alphabetical order using the first letter of the surname. If the record card system is used the salon must make sure that they are locked away out of the reach of everyone other than the stylist and receptionist.

A record card should include all of the following

  • receptionistClient’s name, address and contact number
  • Clients occupation
  • Contraindications
  • Previous services and specific products used and their success or problems
  • Services carried out and the date they were carried out
  • Outcomes/results and effectiveness of salon service
  • Recommended aftercare
  • Home care
  • Recommendations for future services
  • Purchases of products and additional services

 All these details should be checked at every treatment with every client.





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