We’ve got the inside scoop on how to get your male clients in on colour services.
Men’s colour services may not be at the top of the list of the most popular grooming services, but guys do want to look their best — and as their stylist, you have more pull than you think.
We chatted with Gail Oldford, artist for Fix Men/Colour Fix, and Ludovic Leroy-Vigier, Redken artist, on how to approach male clients on colouring their hair, keep it looking natural and get them in and out in no time at all.
Start the conversation.
Grey hair can be a sensitive subject, and it may be difficult to get the conversation started with male clients. Leroy-Vigier explains that many times male clients may come in and request colour services themselves, but sometimes it’s the stylist that needs to bring it up. Oldford recommends being confident in your approach: “Make a professional suggestion to enhance, tone or blend shades of grey—it’s a great opportunity for you as their stylist to show them that you care about the way they look.” Leroy-Vigier agrees that it should be a relaxed conversation that is never too serious. If a client doesn’t start the colour talk, Leroy-Vigier will begin chatting casually about greying celebrities and how a touch of colour can make his client look instantly younger.
Stick to the natural look.
Getting male clients in and out of a colour service quickly is important, but so is leaving them with a natural look. Leroy-Vigier’s services take anywhere from five to 15 minutes, depending on how much coverage the client is looking for. To keep hair looking natural, Leroy recommends using Redken Color Camo or a natural ash colour that will keep the brassiness at bay, which is the first giveaway to coloured hair, particularly on men.
Both Leroy-Vigier and Oldford agree that when it comes to colouring darker-haired male clients, it’s best to leave some of the grey or white. Oldford recommends using the cap method: pulling finer pieces of hair through and colouring them two or three shades lighter than their natural hair colour, followed by a semi-permanent toner in order to blend the white and grey pieces. Leroy-Vigier paints a semi-permanent shade onto his client’s dry hair with a brush to get a more natural feel, avoiding full colour coverage whenever possible.
Keep it in the salon.
Although men often start with at-home colour, both Oldford and Leroy agree that it never achieves the natural look their clients are after. Reminding your client that stylists are “trained to understand the laws of colour,” as Oldford explains, is a way to get them to move away from over-the-counter at-home colouring, and into the salon where it can be done professionally. “Stylists are able to achieve more predictable, natural results,” says Oldford. For Leroy-Vigier, it’s about keeping the conversation lighthearted by asking if his clients would rather look like a pumpkin or Harrison Ford: “No one ever asks me for a pumpkin look.”
Don’t forget facial hair.
Natural-looking colour shouldn’t stop at your client’s head. Oldford suggests deciding on a facial hair design—whether it’s a goatee or a beard—before the colouring process. Leroy-Vigier recommends that a semi-permanent colour be used on facial hair so that it will fade more naturally. And both agree that the colour application should be light and avoid full-colour coverage. To keep colour from staining your client’s face, Oldford recommends putting Vaseline on the surrounding area when colouring a beard or goatee and trimming the facial hair prior to colouring. When colouring eyebrows, Leroy-Vigier suggests avoiding shades that will be too reflective, further removing them from the natural look.