makingclientcomfortBy Misty Renne Al-Eryani, Guest Contributor  

Healthy hair is truly beautiful hair. As hairdressers, we strive to create shapes and tones that complement our clients and keep them satisfied with the results.  Most of them are unaware of the processes we put their hair through or the time and thought behind each color formulation we use to keep their hair looking flawless. Your client expects you to do the impossible and each one wants you, the stylist, to give them any look they want – at any time. You’re a magician, and with an appointment and satisfactory budget you can move mountains – or at the very least, bump their hair color up seven levels!

As hairdressers, most of us have had to deal with clients having difficult, sometimes impossible, requests. Trends dictate what they see and how they envision themselves, so it is up to us to become the voice of reason. But that doesn’t mean they can’t always get the results they desire; it may just take a few appointments to get it.

Work as a team with your client

Have an honest discussion with them about their expectations. Giving a quick “No” response is not the best way to put an end to a potential hair disaster. Clue them in on what can be done as well as what’s not the best choice for their hair. Clients should know more about the structure of their hair and how chemical processing can affect the hair. By empowering them with a few key “hair truths,” you are acknowledging a shared trust and your client will feel more at ease knowing that you’re doing what’s best for them.

requests for dramatic change can come as a surprise

After all, dramatic changes are a good way to reinvent oneself.  Try to find out more about this sudden urge for a change of appearance: Is this totally a whim, or have they wanted to move into a particular look and never had the courage try to it?

Make sure your client is committed to this new look. Carefully explain the pros and cons and make sure they’re aware of the costs of this change. If your client will need to come in more often for retouch service or treatments, this may affect their decision.  A change in at-home products and styling regime may be required.  Realistic budget amounts may override a trendy look. Help your client understand this transition and they will not only be pleased for receiving a fair warning, they will appreciate your concern for them.

be honest

During your consultation, always be honest with your client.  More importantly, be honest with yourself! What are you able to do for them within the time you have for that day? Are you able to achieve the desired look without compromising the hair structure? Is it best to use this appointment time prepping the hair for the big change rather than the actual chemical service?  If their hair is unable to receive a particular service, inform the client and steer the service toward a healthier result.  Sometimes the smallest change can make a huge impact. A simple styling change, parting the hair differently, side swept fringe, even a few highlights to accentuate facial features, can make all the difference to update your client’s appearance.

Client satisfaction versus instant gratification is more often than not the main issue when it comes to “makeover” looks. Proper care and patience sometimes becomes a subject that is difficult for clients to truly understand but that’s when we must exercise our skills as hair specialists to ensure their most important accessory – their hair – is not compromised.

 About the Author

Misty has 15 years of experience as an editorial makeup artist and groomer, and her work appears in international fashion and beauty publications as well as national advertising campaigns. She has worked with celebrities and fashion models on a creative level, including NYC and L.A. Fashion Week. She currently focuses her creativity on her clients’ needs as individuals. Her work can be seen via

This article was written by an industry contributor and does not necessarily reflect the position or opinions of the Professional Beauty Association (PBA). To submit a request to contribute an article, click here.