Last updated: February 09, 2024


wwyd: hair client consultations
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We’ve all been there—you’re past the scheduled consultation time and you can tell it’s going nowhere. From “No one has ever done my hair right,” to complaining about pricing, it seems like nothing you do will result in a happy client.


We asked our followers to weigh in on their experiences with long consultations and if they’re ever really worth it. Find out when long consultations are OK, how to set boundaries and questions to ask to know if you’re just not a match for the client.


1. Do Long Consultations Result in “Difficult” Clients? 

We know, it’s tricky. Although remember—new clients, big transformations or in-depth services can take some needed consult time. Here is what our followers had to say:


“I think it all depends on how extensive the process is going to be and if they’re new to coloring their hair.” – @thepaintedstylist_


“Depends. I talk about pricing, maintenance, health of the hair, how long they will be in the salon, face shape, if we need to do a strand test (and why) and using color to contour. Sometimes it takes 30 minutes to go through all that information.” – @hairbyfaithvenditti


“It really depends on the situation. If you’re talking in circles—of course, but that’s for any amount of time. Sometimes they need to be spoken to in terms they understand. We study the art of hair, they don’t. So explain the process and make them feel welcomed and comfortable in your chair. You should always be as inviting as possible to each and every client. With that being said, it can take more than 15 minutes sometimes. I’ve even curled their hair during a consultation just to make them feel special in that moment.” – @the.blondeboy



2. To Ensure A Productive Consultation, Set Your Boundaries

This can be by charging for consultations, recognizing when you’re not a fit or keeping to a schedule. Here’s how our followers set healthy boundaries with their clients:


“It depends on how the consultation is going. If they’re changing their mind about what they want and you’re struggling to lead them to a conclusion, then yes—send them to someone else. (I learned that one the hard way.) But sometimes, you need the longer consultation to discuss everything they need from the actual process to aftercare.” – says Schae Rodriguez on Facebook


“It’s more than just a consultation — it’s an exchange of energies and you will see if the act is a match too! FACTS.” – says Halo Salon on Facebook


“I’m always happy to do a thorough consult as long it’s productive and the vibe is good. I tend to do a longer consult for extensions or corrective work because I feel it necessary to go over the process, prices, maintenance, and sessions estimated to achieve the desired look. However, I don’t waste my time with those that present the classic red flags we all already know.” – says Genevia Aumiller on Facebook



3. When The “Red Flags” Do Present Themselves, Here’s What Our Followers Do:

It depends on how the consulting is going. We all know those red flags: ‘No one has ever gotten my hair right,’ ‘This is too expensive,’ talking negatively about other stylists and so forth. This is a repeat offender — you’re never going to make them happy no matter how long you consult and talk about it.” – @oliviajanehair


“If they are picking out pieces of hair they want foiled, hate the way every stylist has done it, or can’t find a photo of what they want [then] I don’t do it. I had someone send me a pdf of 40 photos with notes of what she liked and didn’t like. Uh who hurt you?” – @sagestudiohairsalon


Consultations are key to setting you up for a successful service, game plan and to manage expectations around time, cost and more. See how fellow hairstylists advise setting up client consultations below:


“If you take proper control of a consultation, you can get so much more information that will make everything run so much smoother! I require an in-person consultation that lasts 45 minutes to an hour and includes a strand and patch test. My clients are always so happy that I sit down with them and conduct a full consultation with them before I ever even get my hands in their hair. I have had so many people thank me for the way that I do my consultations.” – @jentheunicornstylist


“I need the time to ask all my questions and hear all the client’s responses before we book the appointment. Everyone needs to be heard, so we as an industry should be asking the right questions to get the correct result. FACT: 97% of clients feel they DON’T get a proper consultation, 8% hairdressers say they do—something wrong here I think.” – @jackhowardcolor


…If it’s a new client I want to understand who they are and what is going on in their world. It’s important to understand why they want a change and what their current habits are around their hair. Plus, lots of people have trauma and I love to give them space to let me in if they would like to. So that we can form mutual trust and respect for each other. Once you give them a safe space to feel well in, they can more calmly communicate their needs and concerns. We enter people’s personal space and deal with how the world perceives them, we need to take the time to really see them for who they are ❤️.” – @ramsackett


See 6 Consultation Questions To Ask Your Clients Here!