Think you’re doing everything you can to get clients colouring in the salon? Think again! Here are two types of unlikely colour clients you should be converting to your salon.
1. Thinking Outside the Box
At-home hair colour (aka. box colour) is an often taboo topic between hairstylists and clients, but it shouldn’t be, says Crystal Brown, colour ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel. “Whether you like it or not, odds are a number of your clients are either creating or maintaining their colour by using box colour,” she says. “Having a conversation with them can help them understand the difference.”
Now is the perfect time to discuss your client’s colour history, even if that means uncovering their use of box colour. “I would ask them things like, ‘How would you describe your colour to me? How do you feel it looks? How do you feel about the quality of colour and shine?’ Asking these questions helps draw information from them and from there you can talk to them about ways to change it.”Brown compares a client’s discomfort with discussing with their box colour use to patients talking to their doctor about unhealthy eating habits. “It’s about creating that environment where people feel it’s okay to tell you the truth,” she says. “I would rather work with them to manage through [using box colour] than chastise or put them down for it.”
“Sometimes, hairstylists want to go the route of protecting their value as a colourist. And the best way to do that is by doing things to make the colour service more professional, with tailored results, because that’s one of the biggest differences between what somebody can do with a box colour versus in the salon.”
— Crystal Brown, colour ambassador for L’oréal Professionnel
For hairstylists, a misconception about clients that use box colour is that they are bound by their budget, but that’s not always the case. “For any client, there’s a whole other budget [other than their financial budget] that is probably more important to them: Time,” says Brown. “They can’t always come in every three weeks for a root retouch.”
Instead of trying to convert box colour clients to 100 per cent in- salon colour, try easing them in by explaining how additional services, like balayage and highlights, can take their colour to the next level. “It becomes about really selling them on customizing their colour with the techniques you use. For example, a highlight contoured to their face shape is something they can’t do for themselves. Be sure you’re upping the level of technical expertise and artistic ability to ensure you’re delivering something they can’t replicate themselves.”
Product Pick: “L’Oréal Professionnel’s Blonde Studio Sunkissed Lightening Oil is a really gentle product, and unlike traditional lighteners that work from the inside out, it lightens hair from the outside in. It won’t lighten hair by three or four levels, but it will remove the buildup from box colour and help re-illuminate the hair.”
2. Transforming Thin
As many hairstylists know, hair colour helps expand the cuticle. But for some clients with thinning or fine hair, colour may be the last thing they think of when it comes to thickening their mane. “I always want clients to know that they do have options,” says Emily Murphy, an educator for Nioxin and Wella Professionals, and owner of Cavana Spa and Salon in Orillia, Ont. “They immediately tend to think they can’t do anything with their hair, so you want to make them feel comfortable.”
As with any service, it all comes down to the consultation. But this is especially true for your fine-hair or thinning-hair clients. “The first thing I do is look at the integrity of their hair,” says Murphy. “A lot of stylists think they need to highlight and camouflage the scalp, when in fact it’s the other way around—you want to draw the eye away from the scalp.” Next, it’s about coming up with a solution that’s customized for their lifestyle. “If clients don’t want a lot of upkeep, we come up with a plan where something will work for them,” she says. “If they want to come in every eight weeks, we come up with something that will work for them every eight weeks, so they feel [the importance of] taking care of their hair.”
Murphy suggests educating clients about the importance of scalp health. “If clients don’t take care of their scalp health, they won’t have any hair and their hair won’t be strong enough for colour,” she says, recommending the use of Nioxin’s Scalp Renew in-salon service. “It’s like an on-scalp facial. It cleans out their pores and takes off any extra debris before we put the colour on.”
As for colour, Murphy suggests using balayage to help create fullness throughout the hair. “Balayage is actually a really good thing [for thinning or ne hair clients] because when you have that depth at the root and the lightness towards the mid-shaft and ends, it really draws the eye towards the mid-shaft and ends where you want to build weight.” For clients experiencing speci c types of thinning, such as the crown area or back of head, Murphy says to focus the colour placement in front, using a darker colour to maintain depth and create an illusion of fullness.
Pro Tip: “Lower your developers and colour strengths because ne hair is going to take to the colour a lot faster. Processing time is key. Don’t leave the colour on longer than you need to. Make sure you’re keeping an eye on the colour throughout the service. If not, you’re going to end up with something that’s overprocessed or too dark.”