6 Tips for Lessening Color Stress

Tim Howard discusses his professional tips on how to lessen the stress around color services.

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Tim Howard, hairdresser, former salon owner and chief innovation officer at Vish, shares six tips on combating common issues with color.

Color services, probably cause the most distress simply because it can go wrong even for the most seasoned hairdresser. The following are some color tips from Howard.

1. Don’t play it safe:

The fear of getting it wrong leads many to stick to what they know instead of encouraging their client to experiment and change it up a little. This may avert any catastrophes, but you risk client stagnation.

“If you don’t take your client on a journey of discovery with their color, they can become bored of their hair without realizing, and they often will think it’s you and not them!” says Howard, who owned two award-winning salons before creating Vish with his brother Joshua.  "Introduce new ideas and offer advice on new looks, rather than rely on them to tell you 'what we are doing today.'”

2. Keep them talking:

Appointment schedules are always tight, and when dealing with people, it’s easy to overrun.

“Consultation is key to understanding what your client wants and expects while ensuring she feels confident in your abilities,” says Howard. “I always did a full consultation with every client, every time, because their life is changing all the time, and only by understanding how they’re feeling about their hair could I truly know what they’re going to love the most.”

3. Check on condition

Successful color needs a good canvas and pay attention to if the condition of the hair is going to make things difficult or not.

“Discussing hair condition and how it will impact on the outcome must be done during the consultation or you are not doing your job properly,” says Howard. “It’s then that you start the conversation about the right additional salon treatments and home products to improve the condition and ensure the color is beautiful and lasting. Doing it at the end can make it seem like you’re just trying to upsell, or that it’s an afterthought.”

4. Don’t fudge on the formula

Being able to look up past formulas makes planning so much easier, do not forget to write down the color formula for each client.

“If a client mentions that she loved her hair last year, an online and complete history means it’s possible to simply pull up her record and, not only do you know the formula and the exact quantities, you have total confidence that you can recreate it for her,” adds Howard, who came up with the idea of Vish partly after getting fed up with his team not recording every formula, every time. “Knowing what has been done helps me get creative with the formula without estimating quantities and forecasting results. You can also see if the client’s been resistant to change and  gradually guide her so she doesn’t get bored.”

5. Be a perfectionist

Even when rushed, the best stylists still take time to mix formulas properly and apply them carefully. Good color requires perfectly mixed color and careful sectioning, so don’t be hasty, and if mixed correctly, remixing can be avoided. Allow time to check on development, even if with another client, to control and ease stress levels.

6. Keep your cool

Of course, turmoil can really set in when things don’t go to plan. It is impossible to guarantee the color will perform exactly as expected every time, so don’t panic.

“Stay calm and be totally honest with your client as, together, you seek an acceptable solution, be it further treatments or a full color correction,” concludes Howard. 

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