Color Techniques: Helping Clients Understand What They’re Asking For


We live in a time when trending colors are misunderstood  — and sometimes unachievable — for clients. Although Instagram is a great way to gain clientele, it’s also the devil when it comes to a client’s inspiration.

When I was in school, the traditional Kelly Clarkson streaks were all the rave. Now, color services vary tremendously. This, of course, has created a huge variety for clients to drool over — but, it comes at a cost.

Any time clients want to completely switch their color, make sure they understand what goes into a color correction. Different techniques require different placements. What most clients don’t understand are the steps behind them.

Now, gone are the days of a traditional hour-and-a-half session with a stylist. The average client sits in my chair for four hours. Then, if they switch it up on me, I’m looking at a six-hour average. Most likely, they look they’re going for isn’t one that’s achievable in one session. 

While it’s easy for our clients to find beautiful colors on their feed and want frequent changes,  we stylists need to realize that it’s okay to tell our clients no and educate them on why. I’ve said the harsh word plenty of times.

After seeing your clients over the years, you start to realize what they would and wouldn’t like. Of course, we all scroll and get inspired. We contemplate if that hair would look good on us because “Hey, it’s so cute on them!”

However, it’s our job to inform the client whether a color will complement them, as well as remind the client what they thought of a similar look last time. Most importantly, we need to let our clients know if their hair can handle the change. 

Finally, we need to educate our clients on terminology. For example, “balayage” has somehow become miscommunicated into a look versus a technique. Now, there’s also teasylights, babylights, foilayage, etc. It’s on us to let clients know what technique is needed so they understand the difference in time and costs to get their desired results.

Most of these new services require more than one technique, a lot of product, more time and multiple steps. Show them the difference in pictures of your own work — it’s easier than to show the results in addition to the process. 

So, let’s get excited not only to perform these new techniques but to educate our clients on them as well. We are artists — and we want our clients to leave as our happy canvases.

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Montana Schmidt

Montana Schmidt has been behind the chair for eight years specializing in color and textured cuts. She was named in Modern Salon’s Top 100 as well as Beauty Launchpad’s 30 Under 30. Montana is also an Oligopro sponsored #glossgetter, Amika pro stylist league and hair show team, and an ambassador for Shark Fin Shears.

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