Is A Hair Consultation Really Necessary? (Hairstyle Files, Part One)

Every Relationship Begins In The Same Way.

It doesn’t matter if you are making buddies with your barista, meeting someone on a blind date, or trying out a new job opportunity: you want to become familiar with the other person, as do they, with you.

That’s why there are these things called “interviews” and “first dates” because, hopefully, each person will observe the favorable qualities needed to spark a second-interview or maybe even dessert. 😉

However, before getting to know someone, you wouldn’t trust them with your cell phone passcode, or ask them to house-sit your precious fur-babies, would you? So, why would you waltz into a salon and let any random lady start coming for your hair with bleach and shears? She doesn’t know you, you don’t know her, and it just doesn’t make much sense.

As a solution, a good salon will recommend setting up what is called a “hair consultation” prior to the appointment.

You may wonder, “but is a hair consultation reeeeeally necessary, Lexis???” Well, the short answer is YES, and I am here to tell you why. I’ll also show you what to expect and share some insider tips from the pros to help you get the most out of your hair consultation!

This way, you’ll save a lot of effort, time, money, and frustration – for both you and the stylist. Then, you can leave the salon feeling confident and selfie-ready in your new ‘do!

why a hair consultation is necessary

It All Started With…

… a DM from Rachelle, the super sweet owner of two The Studio salons, as well as Facet Salon and Day Spa and Studio 3. She stumbled upon my blog, searching for some local Cleveland hair models for an upcoming salon photoshoot.

“First off, I need some more brand photos of our salon and services,” Rachelle told me. “So, I’d love your help to model a formal hair-do. I can even touch-up your highlights if you feel you need some.” Of course, I offered the assistance of my mane. Who doesn’t love a chance to have someone play around with and style their hair? (Plus, my blonde WAS starting to look a bit dull.)

However, that initial conversation quickly progressed to one consisting of long-term brand aspirations, potential collaborative opportunities, and behind-the-scenes blog logistics. Rachelle and I “clicked” right off the bat, with her rattling off brilliant ideas and me scratching them down quickly into my notebook. Needless to say, I was excited.

One piece of the relationship was still missing, though. Towards the end of the conversation, we decided that I should come into the salon the very next day. Before anyone touched my hair at all, I could get to know her and the staff. They, in turn, would get to know me and my hair, too.

So, after we hung up the phone, I added to my calendar a hair consultation at The Studio Salon.

But Why Is A Hair Consultation Necessary?

Well, anyone can say, “I’d like my hair to be blonde.” Though, a quick Google search of “blonde hair” reveals an issue here:

blonde hair google search screenshot

With seemingly endless varieties of color (and, of course, cuts, too), a thorough discussion is necessary for the stylist to really understand what you want. As far as I know, they don’t teach mind-reading at cosmetology school. 🙂

However, the benefits of a hair consultation go much deeper than just saying what you would like. In fact…

it’s really about the stylist discerning what will work best for your specific hair, too.

For instance, as I sat in the salon chair, Rachelle immediately began playing with my hair. And, this isn’t just because she loves hair THAT much. No, in fact, many tactile elements indicate the quality of your hair. For example, is it damaged, healthy, course, smooth, breakable, porous, thick, thin, or are the ends split?

Not to mention, things like skin tones, face shape, and even eye color are taken into account to pick a perfectly complementary (and natural, if that is your wish) shade of hair color and style of cut.

All of these factors and more play a major role in determining what exactly is possible with your hair. Sure, you may dream of having a super layered pixie cut, but one touch of your hair may let the stylist know it just won’t work with your thick mane of curls (been there, heard THAT!) After all, not every type of hair is successful with a certain color or style.

That’s why the consultation will provide an opportunity to have an open conversation about the healthy limits of your hair and what the process entails. The stylist will be able to tell you some effects of the bleach and color, how easy maintenance will be, and what the “growing out” period is like, just to name a few.

Passing over this valuable advice would be worse than missing a double-star BOGO day at Starbucks. You just don’t miss some things!

So What Happens At A Consultation?

Rachelle immediately began by asking what type of blonde I prefer (cool, but not gray) and how long since my last set of highlights (umm, longer than I can remember?) This opened up a good conversation and allowed me to express exactly how I prefer to style my hair. (And, it turns out, she’s a “year-round-blonde” too!)

Similarly, your stylist will ask questions to get to know you and your lifestyle. He or she may ask things like:

  • amount of time since your last chemical application (because this can affect the outcome of additional color or treatments)
  • the preferred way you style your hair day-to-day (like, if you wear it down to work but still need to put it in a messy bun for your evening Pilates sweat-sesh)
  • the amount of time you like to spend on styling each morning (this is important if you’re a snoozer like me)
  • any hair-care products you use

Since description words can mean different things for each person, it’s helpful to bring a few inspiration photos along, too. This way, your stylist will understand the “caramelly brunette undertones with honey highlighted” hair you desire, and not begin to day-dream about her mid-morning caramel-honey latte. 🙂

Moreover, it helps to mention styles that you did not like in the past. If you had a bad experience with a certain color or loathed a cut, let the stylist know! They can talk you through a new process or brainstorm some different ideas to solve that problem – and avoid any repeated issues!

Finally, be prepared to ask questions.

Many people feel nervous or uncomfortable when they are in a new chair, preferring just to listen. However, your stylist wants to hear your questions and concerns.  The hair consultation is the time for you to ask anything you’ve been wondering – hair-related, that is (save the juicy gossip for your actual session!)

No matter how “dumb” or “simple” you may think your questions are, it is always important to just ask. After all, it’s your stylist’s job to be super familiar with these topics. On the flip side, you aren’t expected to know every little detail of hairstyling, so they won’t judge your knowledge on hair – at all!

Pro-Tip: If you think of questions prior to your consultation, feel free to jot them down in a note. This ensures you won’t forget them later when you are “on the spot!”

Your hairstylist WANTS to get everything out on the table during the consultation so that you both can come to the actual hair appointment comfortable and calm. Then, you can enjoy the pampering, read a magazine, and sip some coffee – free from any distracting worries.

At the end of the day, this is your hair.

You deserve to have it styled and colored exactly to your liking, and the consultation is the best way to achieve that. Making sure you are on the same page as your stylist ahead of time ensures you won’t have to come back for any fixes.

Color-correction is tricky and can be harmful. You can’t naturally “add-back” hair that’s been cut. So, save yourself the time, effort, money, and unpleasant hassle of needing something adjusted by communicating with your stylist in the first place via a hair consultation!

This way, you can avoid the “nodding-that-you-like-your-hair-but-trying-to-swallow-back-tears” situation. Being honest, we’ve all been there at some point. Let’s avoid that on future occasions, shall we? 🙂

While jewelry, clothing, or bags…

… can be swapped out at a moment’s notice, your hair (usually) cannot. You could say hair color or style is a person’s most prominent accessory. So, then, wouldn’t you want to make sure that you do anything in your power to make it perfect?

In my case, I enjoyed having a relaxed, easy conversation with Rachelle and the other stylists about how I like my hair. As a result, I walked out of the salon that day feeling run-way-ready.

No, wait – even better…

… I felt Instagram ready. 🙂

There’s not a much better state of mind than leaving the salon and your new reflection stops you in your tracks as you pass by a shiny storefront window. After all, the common saying goes, “a good hair day is equivalent to a good day.”

If you live in Northeast Ohio and want hair that’ll have you taking selfies all day long (here’s mine), be sure to schedule a hair consultation at one of Rachelle’s salons.

These are her locations again: Downtown CLE, Ohio City, Garrettsville, and Columbus.

What question have you always wanted to ask your stylist but never were brave enough to? Whether it is about tipping, the hairstyling process, color-correction, pet-peeves regarding clients – now is your time for answers! Leave a comment with your question at the end of this post and I’ll be replying with Rachelle’s expert information!

And, this isn’t the last you’ll be hearing from the “Hair Files” topic. Enter your email below to receive notification of my next blog post like this one. You don’t want to miss it!

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Take care guys! Until next time…


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Is A Hair Consultation Really Necessary? Keep reading to find out the THREE things you NEED to know before going to a new salon... #hair #salon #consultation

Is A Hair Consultation Really Necessary? Keep reading to find out the THREE things you NEED to know before going to a new salon... #hair #salon #consultation

  1. Pingback:Why You Need A Hair Consultation - Cleveland Hair Consultation

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