give the clients what they want, not what they ask for... how to do a HAIR CONSULTATION

hello everyone! today we are here with lauren. she is going to help us demonstrate the importance of doing a thorough hair CONSULTATION. i personally recommend doing a consult at the start of every appointment, even if they have been seeing you for a year! obviously, as you get to know your client better, the consult won’t need to be as thorough but it’s still important to check in with your client every time they are in so that you don’t get stuck in a rut.

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as you get to know your client you can skip some of these questions because you will know what they love about their hair and challenges they have. a GREAT way for you to start the consult asking are you looking for a CHANGE today?

you’d be surprised how impactful this ONE question can be.  more often than not, a new client will tell me that they left their last stylist because they are SIMPLY LOOKING FOR CHANGE! and not a change in stylist, just a change in their style. just by asking this SIMPLE question you can keep a customer in your chair for YEARS to come because you will know exactly how to give them what they want.

the majority of clients seek me out because they know i LOVE to do TRANSFORMATIONS! before i begin any service, i chat with them for at least 20 minutes before i SUGGEST a style. i don’t want them to just look good whenever they LEAVE my salon, i want them to be able to upkeep the hairstyle until they come back.

lauren (our model today) is going to simulate a HAIR CONSULTATION that i would do for a new client.

Q #1) what are some things that you LOVE about your hair?

lauren expresses that even though she loves how QUICK her hair takes to dry she still feels like she lost some of the VOLUME her hair used to have in the past. that being said, she loves how QUICKLY she can do her hair in the morning.

--→just that one question gave me a lot of insight. now, i already know that she does not take a lot of time on her hair. but that doesn’t necessarily mean that she wouldn’t if given the option. also, i’m not going to suggest a style that would compromise her losing the things that she loves about her hair.

Q#2) how much time are you WILLING to put into your hair every day?

lauren informs me that she would not want to spend more than 20 minutes a day (or on the days she needs to do her hair).

--→ obviously, i will need to suggest a style that works with any growth patterns that she has, such as cowlicks. i would also need to consider her natural texture etc.

Q#3) how OFTEN do you WASH your hair?

lauren attempts to wash your hair TWICE A WEEK and would put 20 minutes into styling her hair those days.

--→ again, i would need to consider this in my style suggestion. if a client had crazy curly hair, i wouldn’t suggest a style that would require her to straighten her hair every time that she wet it.

Q#4) do you BLOW DRY your hair?

lauren tries to avoid HEAT on her hair, so most days she lets the hair AIR DRY. that being said whenever lauren had LONGER hair she did end up blow drying her hair.

--→ this is important to know because it addresses the first problem that she had at the beginning about her hair being limp. people don’t just wake up with volume in their hair, it needs to be styled into the hair. NO flat iron, or curling iron will give lift at the roots the way a dryer can.

Q#5) if i gave you a style that would require 5 TO 10 MINUTES of BLOW DRYING after you washed your hair, is that something you would be able to upkeep?

lauren said she would definitely be able to do that as long as she was able to be TAUGHT how to do it.

----> 99% of people will say yes. i’m more so asking her this to get a verbal commitment from her up front. we want our clients to understand that we aren’t magicians! there is no ariana grande, or kim k’s in the world that wake up looking like that, even with the right haircut!

Q#6) what are things that you DISLIKE about your hair?

lauren finds her hair to be THINNER and gets GREASY easily. she has to CHANGE up her products from season to season. she wishes she had more BODY in her hair.

----> this is an EXTREMELY important question because it tells me EXACTLY what NOT to do. it also tells me the things i need to fix for her to have her as a lifetime client.

Q#6) if we could add more BODY to your hair would that be something you’d be interested in?

lauren would love it if her hair would have more of a NATURAL WAVE or BODY to it.

Q#7) do you have NATURAL WAVE to your hair?

“i do have a NATURAL WAVE to my hair,” says lauren. “but the NATURAL WAVE only starts HALFWAY DOWN my hair length. i’m sure if i use more product in my hair it may get to a point where i actually like the natural waves in my hair.”

----> i asked her this because she came in with her hair straight. now that i know she likes her natural texture, i can possible suggest a perm depending on what else i find out through the rest of the consult.  here is our most recent blog on NATURAL BEACH WAVE PERMS.

Q#8) would you like to wear your hair WAVY?

“once i like the wave of my hair yes i would definitely love to wear it WAVY.” says lauren

asking all of those questions got me to a great place to suggest a style for her. that being said, i have a few more questions before i’m ready to make a style SUGGESTION.

so far i possibly suggest a PERM. we recently did a video about a NATURAL PERM with only using EIGHT RODS that we will definitely link below. this would give her this beautiful NATURAL WAVY TEXTURE from route to edge.

Q#9) do you TOUCH your hair a lot?

lauren finds that she does touch her hair rather OFTEN and that might contribute to some of the GREASINESS in her hair.

----> i need to know this because it addresses her problem of how flat her hair is. someone can do an OUTSTANDING job styling volume into their hair and it can disappear within the first hour if they are playing with it. YOUR JOB AS A STYLIST IS TO GET INTO THEIR HEAD SPACE AND FIGURE OUT WHERE THEIR “HAIR PROBLEMS” ARE STEMMING FROM.

Q#10) let’s go over your PRODUCTS regime now. how often do you CHANGE your products, and what products do you CURRENTLY use?

lauren currently switches between three product lines, one being nvenn. she switches up her products every season. she states that the products lose EFFECTIVENESS over time.

the products that lauren uses are WASH , POLISH, and SMOOTH . she also uses CLEAN from time to time.

--→ she voiced that she wants more volume in her hair but doesn’t use a volumizer!! something i will explain to her when i teach her how she will need to style her hair

Q#11) what do you mean by EFFECTIVENESS?

lauren says that sometimes her hair won’t feel as CLEAN or the conditioners may make her hair a bit more GREASY than when she started using them.

----> this doesn’t actually happen. what this tells me is that i need to teach her how to properly wash her hair. washing her hair properly will help to avoid any build up that will develop. that being said, we do live in a climate that changes drastically from season to season so likely she will need to switch up her products to accommodate for that. for example, our winters are long and harsh and people usually find their scalp and hair to be DRYER so they will need to switch to something more MOISTURIZING.

Q#12) what do you do on your free time? what ACTIVITIES are you doing?

lauren does a lot of high-intensity workouts and she also does yoga. most of the time lauren just wears her hair up in a ponytail when she works out.

----> this decides the length of the style that i can suggest. if i think of a style that would be shorter than “ponytail” length, i would want to make sure i check with her first to make sure she approves. yes its something that a client should be aware of on their own but it’s not something that they think of. AGAIN, IT’S YOUR JOB AS THEIR STYLIST TO HOLD THEIR HAND THROUGH THE PROCESS. YOU ARE THE ONE THAT HAS THE TRAINING AND THE FORESIGHT TO KNOW THESE THINGS.

Q#13) what is your opinion on BANGS? have you had them before?

lauren has had BANGS in the past and she feels INDIFFERENT about them bangs. overall, she just really wants a LOW MAINTENANCE style. because she has had bangs before, she is aware that they GROW IN rather quickly and there is maintenance required with them. she has had shorter LAYERING around her face and doesn’t really mind that.

---->being that lauren already knows a good bit about BANGS she already understands what type of maintenance comes with them. for someone who is new to bangs, they may not understand that it requires DAILY styling. it will only take a couple of minutes but nonetheless, it can’t be avoided really. if someone does not want to put in those few minutes every day then DO NOT SUGGEST BANGS.

Q#14) how often do you like to CHANGE your hair?

a couple years ago lauren CHOPPED off a bunch of length. she has not experienced with COLOR yet because she does understand that all colors require maintenance.

----> this tells me that whatever style i choose for her should be something that she likes long term. she is someone where a SMALL CHANGE IS PROBABLY A BIG ONE.

Q#15) how OFTEN is realistic for you to be in a salon?

lauren used to come into the salon once every season but now, that she is in a different climate, she likes to come in every 6 TO 8 WEEKS.

--→ if a client said to me that they only get their haircut twice and year and don’t understand why their styles don’t last (or whatever the problem may be), i would know one of the issues to address.

Q#16) is color something that you are open to trying now or is it still not an option? keep in mind that you would need to freshen it up every so often.

lauren said that she would be open to getting her color EVERY OTHER visit.

---->after hearing that, i immediately know that a SOLID COLOR will not be a great suggestion for lauren. if i was going to suggest color, i would lean towards more of a shadowed root. i also would leave her roots her NATURAL COLOR so that she can just let it GROW IN and not have to worry about ROOTS or HARSH LINES.

Q#17) do you go on VACATIONS often?

lauren doesn’t go on VACATION very often, if she does it’s usually visiting places with COLDER CLIMATES.

---->i want to know this for a couple of reasons. one, all styles will change with the climate. for example, don’t give a client BANGS if they’re going to be somewhere that is extremely hot! the sweat from the heat destroys how cute bangs can look. if they are in the sun OFTEN, they need to know that their colors will fade faster. they can protect their colors from fading by wearing a HAT. funky fashion colors such as RED and PASTELS are probably not a good fit for someone who loves to sit in the sun. maybe they are traveling somewhere more humid, it’s important to note that if they have any natural texture in their hair, it will be harder for them to wear their hair straight.

Q#18) if you were to wake up and look in the mirror in 6 months to a year and be COMPLETELY IN LOVE WITH IT, what would it look like?

lauren would love for her hair to be a bit longer. she would like it to be LONGER in the FRONT and possibly SHORTER in the BACK. she would also enjoy if it was FULLER and had a nice NATURAL LOOKING WAVE.

---->by lauren telling me what she wanted in the FUTURE, we now have a GOAL to work towards. clients are funny. sometimes they come in with a RANDOM idea and think it would be nice to cut all their hair off. then they say their dream hair is for it to be a little bit longer! they don’t put 2 and 2 together and realize that cutting all their hair off only makes their dream hair more difficult to achieve. also, now that you know where they want to be in 6 months to a year, you can lay out a game plan for them and now in their mind, they have committed to coming back to see you for at least that long!

Q#19) at the end of the day, all styles need to be maintained.

i can outline different suggestions on how you can maintain that depending on your lifestyle. for example, i have some clients that want the full meal deal every time they come in and they get their balayage touched up every appointment (that will take “x” number of hours each appointment and will cost “x”). i have other clients that just get a toner each time to freshen up their color and they only get the full meal deal once every 6-8 months (that will take “x” number of hours each appointment and will cost “x”). which client are you most like?

--→it is very important to DISCUSS BUDGET during the consultation. that being said, money can be a sensitive topic. i like to leave this question for the end and disguise it with the length of appointment. i also give them 2 options that everyone fits under so they don’t feel embarrassed choosing between 2 categories that EVERYONE falls into. IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT IT IS AN HONOR THAT THEY ARE CHOOSING TO SPEND THEIR TIME AND MONEY WITH YOU! WORK WITH YOUR CLIENTS TO FIND SOMETHING THAT WILL MATCH THEIR LIFESTYLE AND THEIR POCKET BOOKS. people don’t mind spending the money, they just don’t want any surprises.


MOVING FORWARD from these questions

what we learned for our consult is that: lauren wants MORE BODY in her hair. she wants something that’s going to be EASY to maintain and that she’s willing to get her hair TRIMMED every 6 TO 8 WEEKS.

i also know that a small change for her is a big change for her and that she loves her natural texture.


  • SHORTER LAYERS around the face and more solid in the back. (i would suggest this because the shorter layers around her face will open up her face and give her something to play with. i would suggest to keep it more solid in the back because it’ll keep her hair looking FULLER and the weight will help to keep her hair straight, MINIMIZING the amount of styling time she would need to put into it).

  • i would also suggest a PERM if she wants to wear her NATURAL WAVE. because her hair already has natural texture, a perm would be relatively low maintenance and easy to grow out. if she decides to go with a perm, i would suggest we layer all around her head so that her curls have room to “play” and her finished look would look like a triangle.
  • if she likes the first idea, i would also suggest incorporating a little COLOR into this change. i would suggest a color thats not drastically different than her natural so that it can grow out for a bit longer before it needs to be touched up.

PRO TIP:  let’s say that your client is someone that LOVES change! i would take the “goal color” and break it up into different visits. for example, let's say the goal color is for her highlights to be super blonde. maybe for the first visit, i would take her to a caramel shade, then to a dark blonde the following visit, and then to blonde for the final visit. spreading out the process of getting to the “goal color” over 2 to 4 appointments will get them to where they want to be and fulfill their desire to consistently have a new style without damaging their hair.

the key to KEEPING clients long term is to create a long term PLAN for them. when you do that, it lets the client know that you have their best interests at heart. it builds their TRUST in you. it’s way easier to keep a client than it is to get a new one. giving a client a 1-year plan ensures that they will be seeing you for that year (as long as you deliver of course).

CONSULTATIONS ARE KEY to having a successful visit with your client. not only do i have a game plan for the style to suggest, i also know what products i will need to retail to her so that she can maintain her style, and also what i need to teach her about styling her hair.


1) explaining PRODUCTS

educating your clients on “proper hair care” begins at the sink. this is where i will teach her how she needs to wash her hair and how to choose the right shampoo and conditioner.

i have trained any stylists that have an issue with retailing products to their clients. one thing that i always explain to them is that USING THE RIGHT PRODUCTS are KEY to achieving their desired result! we all use products to style our client’s hair. if we need them in the salon, then they obviously need them at home! AGAIN, YOUR JOB AS A STYLIST IS TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR CLIENT IS EQUIPT WITH EVERYTHING THEY NEED TO MAINTAIN THEIR STYLE UNTIL THE NEXT TIME THEY ARE BACK IN YOUR CHAIR.

2) education

another issue that stylists run into is letting their customer leave without really knowing HOW TO style their own hair. this is a HUGE MISTAKE. your clients are the BILLBOARDS for your business. teach them how to do what you are doing!


there may be other questions that come to mind during your consultation so if they do, don’t be afraid to ask! the more information you have, the better equipped you are to make a good suggestion.

some other good questions to ask are:

  • “what is the HISTORY of their hair in the last 2 years?” (especially if their hair is long! you want to know how processed their hair has been in the past. if their hair is extremely processed, i’m not going to suggest any colors that involves intense lightening for her first appointment).
  • “on a SCALE of 10/10 being pink hair one being a trim where do you sit on that scale?” (this gives great insight on how much change you would need to suggest in their style for them to walk away satisfied).
  • “has anyone ever explained to you what a split end is?” (this is a great window of opportunity to explain the importance of regular cuts).

those should be the GENERAL questions that you want to ask a client in a can ADAPT them to the client to get the best result.

if you have any questions be sure to leave a comment and follow us @nvennhairbeauty for more hair tips! see you next friday! XOXO

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