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Expert Advice

Do You Know How to Deliver the Perfect Makeover?

Web Editor | July 10, 2011 | 7:06 PM
It starts with the right questions, says David Stanko, a consultant at Redken 5th Avenue and red-carpet colorist at Angelo David Salon in NYC. To upgrade your client (and your makeover plan), check out Stanko’s Top 10 to ask, anytime you’re part of a change gang.

The Consultation Cheat Sheet
  1. What image do you want to project—elegant and classic, fun and funky, professional and board-room ready or high fashion?
  2. How much time do you spend on styling your hair?
  3. What do you like and dislike about your current hairstyle?
  4. What do you use to style at home now, and are you willing to purchase the appropriate hair care, styling and hot tools necessary to duplicate a new look?
  5. Will you consider purchasing a few new cosmetics, such as lip color, eye liner, and shadow, to complete your new image?
  6. What is the predominant color in your wardrobe?
  7. What color outfits do you wear that solicit compliments, positive or negative?
  8. What color was your hair when you were a child, and at what age do you recall your haircolor changing?
  9. When you played outside as a child, did you hair “redden” in the sun, stay dark or get sun-kissed?
  10. Are you committed to upkeep (specifically, to the changes being suggested)?

What Her Answers Mean:
  1. If she names a specific image she would like to project, chances are she’s moving towards a bigger goal. For example, if she wants to look more professional, maybe she’s trying for a promotion. If she is looking to project a very trendy look, she may be thinking of moving into a more urban area. Probe a little deeper once you’ve got your initial answer. You may get even more clues into the image she really wants to create.
  2. Really push her to be honest on this question. If she says she’s willing to spend 25 minutes every morning on her hair, ask a few more questions about her routine. On the flip side, if she’s willing to spend zero time on her hair, talk to her about washing and styling every other day or every two days. She might be willing to spend 20 minutes every other day if she knows she’s going to get a day off!
  3. Listen carefully to her answer about what she likes and dislikes about her current style—especially her dislikes. There’s a reason she has that style. Find out how long she’s worn it, she may be more attached than she likes to think.
  4. Is she using a flatiron or other styling tool at home? Upgrade her to a professional brand. Does she just use one product? Explain the benefits of product “cocktails” when properly used.
  5. This is a particularly important question when you’re dealing with a major color change. For example, if you’re giving a blonde client an auburn shade, new make-up is a must. If you stock it in your salon, take her over to the make-up area as soon as she’s finished with her color. If not, give her some solid recommendations on make-up shades that will complement her new color.
  6. Many women may not be able to answer this question right off the bat. They might say they wear all colors. Get specific with them. If it’s a long-time client, you may already have a pretty good idea about her personal style. If it’s a new client, start naming colors and asking how often she thinks she wears them. You’ll find out very fast what her dominant colors are.
  7. Every woman should know what color she looks best in. However, some women mistake their favorite color for the color that flatters them most. This is not always the case. Listen to her answer and then try to visualize her in that color.
  8. A lot of people were blonde as children. Ask your client to get specific about the shade of blonde. Was her hair white-blonde until she was five, or a honey color for a year or two before turning dark? This will help you determine how blonde she should be now.
  9. An honest answer to this question will help you achieve natural-looking highlights on your client. Explain to her why you’re asking and what you hope to do with her answer. If she answers “reddish” and she wants cool, blonde highlights, explain the underlying warmth that will naturally come out in her hair.
  10. Before asking this question, be sure to explain exactly what upkeep means. If she says yes and she has a history of high-maintenance cuts and color, proceed. If she says no, discuss color and cut strategies with her that require less upkeep.

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