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The key to a successful colour business | Robert Eaton

February 14, 2020

Multi award-winning hairdresser, Robert Eaton, Wella’s UK & Ireland Technical Director, talks about the importance of carrying out an in-depth colour consultation with every client and how this can have a major impact on the success of your colour business.

The word consultation is used a lot in our industry and I think it’s easy to have a quick discussion about what colour your client will be having, but this is very different to an in-depth consultation that truly gives you an insight into what your client really wants and what will ultimately be their ideal colour.

For businesses to survive in the current climate, service needs to be completely personalised, and this starts with a bespoke consultation for every single client, both cut and colour, to determine their needs.

Because it’s such a personalised service, we don’t have a set time frame for consultations, in fact if a client needs several consultations before anything is changed with their hair, we are happy to accommodate that.

I think the golden rule is to offer every client a thorough consultation, regardless of the scale of the work they are having done. The words ‘usual colour’ and ‘same again’ are the words that should never be used – the moment you use these words, you have taken the bespoke personalisation element away and turned extraordinary into ordinary.

It may well be the case that your client wants the exact same colour as last time, but without a detailed consultation you will not know this. Look at it this way, when you go into a restaurant, even if you are a regular customer and always have the same dish, if the waiter fails to tell you the specials and doesn’t talk to you about the menu, you’re not going to feel very valued.

Whereas if you’re told that there’s a variant of your favourite dish that the waiter thinks you will love, then you’re going to feel like they understand your tastes, they care about your meal and they want you to be a satisfied customer. Hairdressing is no different. Making clients feel comfortable and like they’re getting great value all starts with the consultation.

I am very passionate about colour consultations and achieving the perfect colour, so I work with my clients creating mood boards with them on the look they want to achieve. I also work with wigs and hair pieces so the client can see how different shades, colours and tones work with their skin tone and eye colour. Wigs are also a great way to show them how different techniques and haircuts can change how colour appears.

This is very much in line with Wella’s new interactive consultation tool. It uses mood boards to talk to your client about their lifestyle, personality, likes and dislikes, and also helps you identify your client’s skin tone and eye colour, which tells you if they are cool are warm tones. Understanding this is absolute key to making the right colour choice.

A colour consultation is essential before any appointment. There are so many aspects to make the client aware of and you want to ensure that you and the client are in-sync at all points of the colour journey. There is nothing worse than a client being surprised or unhappy midway through a transformation as a result of not having a thorough consultation. It is also key to point out that the first consultation is a great starting point but it is also essential to keep consulting with your client throughout the service, keeping them informed of what you’re doing and why you are do it at all steps of the way.

Making the consultation visual is a major element of getting it right. There are many shades of cool blonde, and it is impossible to describe a colour without using a visual tool to demonstrate it. Swatches, fabrics and various textures all help to bring a vision to life.

An in-depth consultation can really help salons personalise their client’s experience. It is a great way to help tailor the salon services to fit their client’s bespoke needs and therefore give a much fuller experience. I personally believe this is one of the keys to running a successful salon business and is where the extraordinary service begins.

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