Beth Minardi, salon owner and master colorist, offers her tips for giving clients the best salon experience.
- Be ready for your client. Before the day begins, be sure you are ready to tackle ANY color situation. You need creme and powder lighteners, developer, basic shades in permanent color, a demi creme color and a liquid demi color collection. Foil, clean towels, paper towels, gloves, a clarifying shampoo, coil cotton, plastic caps, color care shampoo and conditioner, plastic and metal clips. Is your mirror clean? Is your station clear? Is the bathroom clean, neat and stocked? Are applicators, tops, bowls and brushes clean and dry? Are YOU neat, clean, and sending the "I'm interested in beauty" message? How about the music... remember, it is for the clients... not for you. Is it appropriate for the client who might need to relax for up to several hours in your chair?
- Always TALK before you start - even when meeting with a long time client. Is she happy with the color? (Are YOU happy with the color?) Any issues? Do you feel a need to suggest any dimension? An alteration in glaze or formula? Allow the client to look directly at you to share what she is thinking BEFORE you begin. Act interested. Be interested.
- Think QUALITY of service rather than massive "volume." Attempt to properly schedule yourself so that the clients get what they need. Avoid saying "I don't have time for this today." If necessary, tell the client EXACTLY what you plan to accomplish during today's visit.
- Schedule to cut the hair FIRST... if you can. Color AFTER the cut. Color should enhance the shape, so if a new shape or fringe is planned, create these new lines FIRST so that color and cut work together.
- CONSIDER WHITE: Black furniture, black towels and black sinks are NOT a colorist's best friends. Sorry! Consider a lighter, clean look. White porcelain sinks DO NOT STAIN! Salon-perfect lighting and bleachable towels create an uplifting look and fresh feel. Avoid wearing old, stained, faded smocks, clothing and shoes. Great colorist know how to minimize mess. Create an elegant aura around yourself.
- When the client demands perfect coverage of GRAY -- DELIVER IT! Every time. Avoid color accelerators unless approved by the color manufacturer. Most accelerators speed “lift”… not deposit. When meeting a client for the first time, process gray regrowth for the maximum time suggested by the manufacturer.
- Refrain from using permanent color or alkaline demi color to refresh faded hair lengths! Take the modern approach. Use an acidic liquid demi (like BETH MINARDI SIGNATURE) during the final 10 - 15 minutes of a color retouch.
- Never attempt to retouch tangled, matted hair! Gently brush or comb through thoroughly prior to coloring. When highlighting very curly hair, iron the hair smooth before beginning to highlight... P.S. MINARDI Glisten Drops are a great detangler.
- Cover that client! Ask that necklaces, earrings, blouses, jackets and sweaters are removed prior to color application. The client should arrive at your chair wearing a smock. Drape a clean towel over the shoulders and secure with a plastic clip before starting color application. Make certain handbag is NOT on the floor and is away from color and water. It is NOT FUN to replace a client's new designer bag or jacket due to color or water damage.
- Mix and measure carefully. Record today's formulas in your color record book... along with today's price for services. Remember that last month's formula is a GUIDE to today's work. At times, using the same formula over and over will NOT obtain the expected color results. And make every effort to see the hair DRY before allowing the client to leave the salon. Color looks one way when wet… and a very different way when dry.
ONE LAST NOTE: Resist the urge to become a boring "cookie cutter" colorist who uses the same three or four formulas over and over and over again. Take classes. Read. Try new things. Be careful... but continue to adjust formulations from time to time. Do not BORE your clients... or yourself. A simple twist or slightly new approach keep things interesting… and that's really what this life is all about! Stay Colorful.