Mastering the Consultation for Hair Professionals

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Mastering the Consultation for Hair ProfessionalsAccording to Ivan Zoot, when a customer is dissatisfied with their service, 95% of the time it can be traced back to miscommunication during the consult, not the actual technical performance of the haircut. Not having a clear understanding of what your client wants is a sure way to getting undesirable results. To avoid the challenges of misunderstanding it goes back to the consultation.

The consultation is a very important part of the service. It sets the tone for what will happen for the rest of the appointment. During the consultation you need to be careful and get very clear on what the client is thinking. This means repeating back to the client what you think you heard. Change the wording a bit when you repeat back to them what they want. This is called paraphrasing. To watch a video where Ivan discusses paraphrasing, click here.

Measure twice, cut once. That’s the mantra you should be telling yourself. Measuring twice or gaining complete clarity beforehand can save you stress and frustration of any backlash from the service.

When performing the consultation, be sure to be completely present. Avoid doing other tasks while you are doing the consult. This means looking at them directly head on. Have the client face the mirror but sit in front of them. This positioning allows for the client to look at themselves in the mirror while explaining so you can completely focus on the client.


There are a couple questions you should ask your client:

Q: How long has it been since you’ve had a haircut?

Q: Is that normal for you?


Mastering the Consultation for Hair ProsBy asking the first question you get an idea of what their haircut looked like before. Since hair grows ½” per month you can do the math and imagine what that haircut was like. By asking the second questions this tells you whether they just want a trim to keep the same look. This will help you understand what they want.

For clients who want something different, encourage them to come in with a picture of the type of haircut they want. A picture tells a 1000 words and this can be helpful for the both of you. If the client doesn’t come with a picture, have an online look book with various hairstyles that you cater too. Perhaps these are past looks you’ve already created or they are looks you’ve seen done by other hair professionals that you are confident you can do. In any case, it’s easy to create. If you have a Pinterest account create a private board that features all these looks. Look books or galleries of haircut images are great for people who don’t talk much or aren’t forthcoming with information.


Another important question to ask is…

Q: Do you have any allergies related to cosmetic toiletries I should know about?

This is very important and can save you and your client any pain or suffering.


Also, ask…

Q: What is the best haircut you’ve ever had?

The best haircut can give you an indication of what they like and what type of maintenance is required.


Q: What is the worst haircut you’ve ever had?

This will tell you what NOT to do. This is just as important as what you should do.

During the consultation talk about product early and often. Show the client what products will be used on them and educate them a bit about why you are using these product This plants a seed in their head that they can buy and use the product for themselves at home.

The consultation is an important part of any haircut. Paraphrasing, asking important questions and having a visual representation of what the client wants can help you do your job better. Get in the habit of doing these things and evaluate why any past redos occurred. Gain clarity during the consultation and your work will become easier and less stressful. To watch a Facebook Live Replay video of Ivan Zoot on mastering the consultation, click here.


JATAI provides innovative and professional quality beauty implements with world-class customer service and educational support. To offer great products as a master distributor, we seek out and select only manufacturers who demonstrate superior workmanship, the most advanced technology, and respected business core values of reliability, honesty and integrity. Accordingly, JATAI represents three major ‘workhorse’ brands that dominate within their categories. Feather, Seki Edge and Fuji Paper. JATAI Academy brings beauty tools to creative life. It’s the ultimate professional information resource where Education, Artistry and Trends CONNECT for Stylists and Barbers.

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