The pro difference with hair colour

I’ve had some great feedback on my recent post about the Professional Difference with hair colour.

Now you can recognise the challenges that you face – from the decline in salon visits to the alarming number of women who believe they can get the same colour at home as they can in your chair – the big question many people have been asking me is ‘how am I going to get clients back into my salon?

The first step is to identify what it is that clients (or potential clients) are looking for. I found the results of a recent L’Oreal Professionnel survey fascinating because it shows that, while people’s colour needs vary slightly with age, their most fundamental colour cravings are consistent throughout their lives: beautiful natural looking hair.

Under 34

  • Beautiful colour to hair
  • Long lasting beautiful colour
  • Professional looking result
  • Colour does not look flat
  • Radiant colour
  • Colour doesn’t fade
  • Beautifully blended colour
  • Natural looking colour
  • Give an even colour from root to tip
  • Perfectly blended multi-tonal colour

35-54

  • Beautiful colour to hair
  • Long lasting beautiful colour
  • Beautifully blended colour
  • Colour does not look flat
  • Professional looking result
  • Radiant colour
  • Colour doesn’t fade
  • Natural looking colour
  • Darkness of colour
  • Give an even colour from root to tip

55+

  • Beautiful colour to hair
  • Beautifully blended colour
  • Professional looking result
  • Colour does not look flat
  • Long lasting beautiful colour
  • Natural looking colour
  • Perfectly blended multi-tonal colour
  • Colour doesn’t fade
  • Shine that lasts
  • Give an even colour from root to tip

But if clients are looking for natural, rich, even, multi-tonal, subtle tones it brings us onto the next question: what does natural mean? The answer to that can vary from person to person:

    1. My original colour
      The same as natural hair colour, or past natural hair colour e.g. blonde
      What the client’s thinking: “I always try to match to my own colour, so it looks natural”

 

    1. No visible greys
      Total grey coverage so it looks like the hair is not naturally grey
      What the client’s thinking: “I don’t want people to know that I’ve gone grey”

 

    1. Different tones
      Hair with contrasting tones and shades of colour; some lighter and some darker strands
      What the client’s thinking: “I want natural tones and highlights”

 

  1. Not artificial
    Not fake or over-the-top shade. They don’t want brassy oranges or anything too yellow
    What the client’s thinking: “I don’t want it to look peroxide blonde, like something out of a bottle.”

Of course it isn’t just age that affects what a client wants from their hair colour. Their natural (that word again!) hue is also going to have a big impact on what they’re looking for:

  • Blondes want natural-looking, perfectly blended colour that isn’t flat
  • Brunettes are looking for an intense, radiant colour that’s natural looking
  • Redheads are most interested in shine and just the right tone
  • All clients are looking for high shine.

So how are we going to cater for these needs – with a natural-looking finish – while showcasing to clients that this isn’t something they can achieve with box colour? That’s where the Pro Difference comes in and we need to shout about it.

My philosophy is Tri Colour. It starts by creating a little bit of theatre for the client by mixing the colour in front of them. An open Colour Bar is perfect for this if you have one, but I simply take the dispensary out to the client.

Then you need to use two to three bowls. Even if it is just a quarter of a shade lighter from the front into the nape, it’s going to change the whole look. A lighter tint around the face is much more flattering, and something that many colourists do, but we aren’t always as good at talking to the client about what we are doing and why we are doing it.

I’ve also identified these four strategies that are proven to generate results for our colour businesses.

Offer low commitment colour services
Clients don’t want to find themselves in a colour vicious circle or feel like a slave to the salon, so come up with the quick, low maintenance solutions they crave. Some of my favourites are combing demi-permanent that is close to the natural shade over those first few greys, glazes, and a few balayage pieces (or New York Lights).

Put your clients at ease
Keep clients loyal to the salon with a consistent and thorough consultation – each time they visit – and don’t forget to explain what you are doing and why you are doing it. You can read more tips on the perfect colour consultation here.

Cater for all your clients – not just your blondes
Under-indexing in non-blondes is a real issue and we need to demonstrate the pro difference for darker bases and redheads too. That’s why mixing different colours in front of clients – and remembering the 2-3 bowl method is so effective.

Champion exciting colour services
Most clients self-report as having global colour, but is that always going to give them the natural-looking, multi-tonal colour they say they want? It’s all about placement and the perfect shade selection and it takes a pro to achieve those.

If we tackle these simple issues and demonstrate our pro difference, we’ll create the walking, talking advertisements that are the most effective way of showcasing quite what a difference professional hair colour can make.

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