Three experts weigh in on their formula for best colouring practices.
Across the board, a proper colour consultation is fundamental to a star colour service. Matrix education and events director, Roch Lemay, shares a staggering stat: “Only 7 per cent of clients say they’ve received one full consultation.” It’s a testament to the decrease in salon business and the increase in drugstore retail in recent years, he says. When clients leave with unmet expectations for the colour they envisioned, this has a detrimental effect on the professional salon. “The key to success is a full consultation,” says Lemay, which helps build a better experience for clients to trust their colourist.
1. Give the customer VIP treatment.
Matching clients’ colour expectations to what they’ll walk away with is the goal for every colourist, requiring a consultation with customer service at top of mind. “Reconfirm their appointments the day before and follow up a week later to ensure they’re satisfied. More than likely [with new colour clients], this level of service will set you apart from other colourists,” advises Robert Banyaga, TIGI Learning Lab technical director.
It’s easy to go out of your way to impress new clients, but the mark of great customer service is consistency with your regular clients. “It will pay off in referrals,” says Banyaga. “Try your hardest to give 110 per cent to each of your clients, [even] if you need to take fewer clients or get extra help to ensure quality work. The great thing is you won’t feel guilty about charging more for your work, once clients are loyal and realize your expertise.”
2. Focus on hair conditioning and health.
In terms of handling colour correction, Lemay strongly suggests assessing hair quality—both porosity and elasticity. “A lot of salons miss elasticity,” he says, which is an essential consideration to preserving hair integrity. “Poor elasticity means a damaged core,” he says, “And you’ll have to recharge or restrengthen the core with a treatment. If the colour does not hold, you’ll need to use fillers.”
Incorporating a strengthening treatment is an easy way to add revenue and improve hair health all year-round. “This is very important at the end of summer, when hair has gone through the pool and the golf course, paled out and weakened. The fall is the perfect time to repigment hair, strengthening the base of the colour—even for highlighted hair. In the spring, when winter has darkened hair colour, you can offer a cleansing treatment to remove colour buildup and brighten hair colour.”
3. Go beyond shades of grey.
Gone are the days of grey coverage by way of solid colour. “I always want to give clients an accent for a multi-dimensional colour, giving that little bit more through lowlights or highlights, depending on what clients tell me through their consultation,” says Scruples educator and platform artist Amanda Evans, who has 75 per cent of her clients asking for grey coverage. “Ombre and melts continue to be popular, even among clients who are covering grey,” says Evans.
To achieve clean, precise colouring, Evans prefers Colour Paper as an alternative to foils because she can apply several colours for an ombre effect without blending, and Colour Paper holds colour accents on wet coloured hair without moving around or sticking to other papers.
Photo: Hair & Colour: Colleen Stanford, Chumba Concept Salon, Windsor, Australia; Makeup: Kate Mccleary; Styling: Shag; Photo: Carl Keeley.