As salons across the country continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic, being time-efficient is more important than ever—especially when it comes to colour services.
These expert tips will help you speed up your appointments and make the most of your overbooked schedule.
While it’s popular in any season, balayage is ideal in the summer months for clients who want a more lived-in, low- maintenance look. Since this hair-painting technique has a more natural and seamlessly blended finish—along with a softer grow-out—it’s perfect for stylists who are juggling a lot of clients these days.
In order to cope with her salon’s busy schedule, Farhana Premji (@xo.farhana.balayage), a balayage expert and owner of Calgary-based The Beige Label Salon, offers an express balayage service. The service can be completed in half the time by using a quicker application method and one single- gloss from root to end (rather than their usual double-glossing process and separate gloss at the roots).
“It’s just a quicker option, but it doesn’t replace our full balayage service,” she says. “It helps to brighten them up around their face and surface hairs on top, to hold them over until September or October when we can hopefully give them the full treatment.”
Since reopening her salon, Premji and her staff are focusing on client retention, and are trying to get as many clients back in their chairs as soon as possible by booking two services per appointment.
“When you’re doing longer, three- to four-hour services and you have hundreds of clients to accommodate, you have to shift the way that you’re booking,” she says. “We encourage clients to tell us what their most urgent need is and [once we take care of it in the first appointment,] we then book them in for a longer service in a few weeks or months when we have the time and resources.”
Pro Tip: Premji advises stylists to take the time to properly communicate with clients when booking, to help manage their expectations and ensure them that the quality of their service will not be affected.
The need for rich, multidimensional colour is always in high demand. For clients who are requesting a major highlight refresh, stylists can focus on the “money piece” (the front section of the hair) to revive their colour. This easy, face- framing effect will add a pop of brightness to enhance their facial features. Remember that how thick or thin you decide to go with sectioning the hair will impact the overall look, and the effect can be completed using foils or freehand painting.
“You want to focus most of your work in the front because that’s the first thing your client is going to notice when they look in the mirror,” says Melissa Duguay (@melzduguay), a Contessa award-winning hairstylist and Joico guest artist based in Moncton, N.B. She adds that she personally uses a pivoting foiling technique by focusing the most colour in the front area, and then uses the client’s part as a focal point to pivot away from towards the back of the head, creating a gradient effect.
If you don’t have time to freshen up your client’s full head of highlights, focusing on the money piece and blending that section out is an easy and efficient way to renew their colour.
Pro Tip: The amount of impact you want to make with your highlights will depend on how thick or thin your lightener slices are. If you’re going for a quick and easy application, Duguay recommends thicker, well-blended slices, while a more natural look would involve thinner slices.
Since many of your clients likely haven’t had their hair coloured in months, they’ll be in urgent need of touch-ups for their greys and regrowth. Duguay says a large percentage of her clients come in for root touch-ups and grey coverage, so she prioritizes her clients’ regrowth area so they can leave the salon happy, but also schedules them to come back in for a full service. “These clients just want those hairs to be covered and aren’t looking for a specific technique or service. This is great, because it’s an easy in and out, and just focuses on the necessities,” she says. “The second appointment is more detail-focused. It gives you the chance to add some more flare or to change up their look entirely.”
In terms of pricing, Duguay adds that her salon (Eccentric Hair Studio) is now charging clients by the hour rather than by appointment, to help keep appointments tighter and on schedule.
Pro Tip: For clients who have a darker regrowth but want their colour to be brightened up for summer, Premji suggests a root smudge (aka. Reverse balayage) with a demi-permanent colour or toner, which will help fade the harsh demarcation line.
Toning and Glossing
After months without any colour touch-ups, some clients may just want a quick refresh to brighten everything up. Enter: Toners and glosses.
For blondes battling brass or brunettes dealing with dullness, Premji says a quick toning service can have a huge impact to help bring colour back to life while also rehydrating the hair.
For clients with grown-out and faded hair, but who like the tone of their ends, Duguay says her salon has been offering a lot of colour matching. Instead of doing a full recolour, they’ll match the client’s roots with the rest of their hair and then boost the overall tone with a quick gloss.
“It’s such a quick way to refresh hair and give it some colour and shine again,” she says, adding that clients will leave satisfied and stylists are happy, too, since it’s a simple and fast solution.
Pro Tip: Duguay recommends giving your client’s faded hair a boost with a clear glaze (a shine-enhancing top coat that doesn’t penetrate the hair follicle as deep as a gloss), which will also help tame flyaways and frizz by deep-conditioning the hair.