ARROJO cosmetology students have been studying how to execute a successful consultation. With this in mind, Nick Arrojo took time out to talk about this key area of a hairdressers work.
“A hairdresser’s consultation skills are critical. A great stylist is a great communicator because the first thing a hairdresser must understand is the expectation of the client. If you don’t know each person’s expectations, you have little chance of matching––let alone exceeding––them.
So how do you conduct a great hair cut consultation?
The first thing I do: ask the client what they expect to happen. Do they want an inch off or five inches off? Do they want layers, graduation, or a one-length line? Do they want mussed up tousle and flow or a smooth and polished do? As a visual example is always best, I also encourage each client to show me a picture of the look they want. And when a client does show you an image, rather than trying to recreate how that airbrushed celebrity looks for one moment in time, focus on how you’re going to make that look work, from day-to-day, for the person in your chair.
I like to listen to my clients for around two or three minutes, all the while getting to grips with their ideas and inspirations, as well as their personality, and individual sense of style. Then I take up the reigns. It may be that the idea they have is a good one and, if so, I’ll tell them that they’re on the right path, and perhaps add one or two modern and trend-savvy ideas that can enhance the look they want.
If I’m not enamored with their vision, if I believe the style is not quite right, it’s time to earn my consultation corn. To keep the client’s confidence, I explain why I don’t believe their desired style is their personal best fit. Maybe the hair texture and shape doesn’t suit what they want to achieve; maybe the hair is damaged and needs to be cut to be damage free; or maybe the cut will require lots and lots of day-to-day styling and I feel that creates too much work for the client. Whatever the reason, it’s my job to explain myself confidently and professionally, and then offer alternatives that get the client equally––or more––excited than they previously were.
Great hairdressers are open and honest in each consultation. They are thoughtful and explain what can be done to improve each person’s individual look, have good creative ideas, and an awareness of any potential difficulties. My belief is that if you blend first-class communication skills with knowledge, confidence, and creativity, you’ll have no problems getting clients to commit to cuts they’ll love. And when a client love’s their hair, they’re all the more likely to return to you…with their friends in tow.
That’s how important the consultation is.” –– Nick Arrojo