Effective consultations

Posted: September 24th, 2015 | Expert Advice | 1 Comment

By Kimberly Creekmore | Owner | HairLoveDesignLLC

My name is Kimberly Creekmore, I’m the owner of HairLoveDesignLLC and founder of Salon Professionals of San Diego. I have been in the beauty industry for 10 years. If you ask my family and my friends, they would tell you that I have been doing hair for as long as someone would let me get close to them with scissors, hair color or a pair of clippers.

Kimberly Creekmore | Owner | HairLoveDesignLLC

Kimberly Creekmore
Owner | HairLoveDesignLLC

I am passionate about my industry and even more passionate about taking care of my clients’ hair and guiding new stylists. I want to address some common questions and problems that people have when visiting their hairdresser, so I asked my clients and friends to help guide this and the next five articles that I will be sharing with you. The overwhelming response was: “How do I SPEAK hairdresser?” So, our first topic starts at the beginning: effective consultations

A hairstylist who is committed to developing a lasting relationship wants to get to know you, your hair struggles, styling confidence, and your expectations for every appointment.

If you are fortunate enough to have a hairdresser who sits you down to ask you questions about your hair each time you come to visit, you have found a promising stylist. The truth of the matter is that so many hairdressers start the conversation with “what do you want to do today?” So many customers have become accustomed to answering that empty question, and they now find it hard to communicate clearly and ultimately leave their appointment unhappy.

What I want to give you today is a format to communicate effectively with your hairdresser. How do you ensure you are speaking the same language? How do you lessen the anxiety during the appointment until the final reveal? You want to be able to relax every step of the way. Do not worry…you don’t have to speak the same language as your stylist to ensure that you both are on the same page. Here are a few steps to assist you if no consultation is initiated by your stylist:

  1. Don’t let your stylist take you directly to the shampoo bowl!

Tell your hairdresser, whether they are your friend, or someone you found on Yelp, that you want to talk about your hair.

  • Tell them what you like
  • Tell them what you don’t like
  • Tell them any challenges you are having with your hair; such as frizz, dryness, unevenness, working with curling irons and other styling tools.

This opportunity will allow the two of you to talk about the big picture.

  1. Talk about products and styling.

Whether you use a brand from the grocery store, or invest in high-end products to keep your locks soft and styled, be open so your stylist can help you care for hair. Your cut, color, style and products work in concert to get the final result.

Tell your stylist the products you’re using and results you currently get:

  • What shampoo and conditioner you use
  • How often you shampoo
  • Tell them if the products soften your hair or seem to dry it out; perhaps you’re experiencing greasy results
  • What styling products you use: mousse, gels, hairspray, volumizers, etc.

Everything you put in your hair will determine the outcome. Did you know the cut can also help create the volume you might be looking for? When your stylist knows what you use, they can better deliver and help you with tips and tricks to get that salon look, day after day!

  1. Tell them how you style your hair.

Letting your stylist know how you style your hair will help guide you to the best cut and style.

Many clients want to keep it simple, but whatever your goal, it has to be communicated. If wash-and-go sounds great to you, let your stylist know. Whether your hair is short or long, they will work with you to set real-world expectations and help minimize styling time, while giving you great salon worthy results.

  1. Ask for guidance!

Do you want to change your style, add that new color, or try those fun Pinterest braids? Do you want to learn how to use the round brush or curling iron?

Ask your stylist for help. They know celebrity pics and Pinterest trends are all the rage. Don’t be afraid to show them your favorite celebrity look; a great stylist will help you, not judge you! And, when they know what you’re looking for, your stylist can:

  • Give you step-by-step styling tips including products and tools to use that suit your hair texture and desired results
  • Help you determine if that new trend is right for you, your hair type, and styling confidence

And make sure that your stylist is putting the tools in your hand and teaching you how to get your salon style at home.

  1. You don’t have to speak the lingo…

Your stylist may throw out a term or concept with which you are unfamiliar. If you don’t understand, ask for clarification. Understanding hairdressing industry terms is not necessary for a successful appointment, but if you don’t understand, speak up. You want to know how long your hair will be, where you think the layers will sit, how the bangs will look, and how to actually style your hair. Certainly, you want to make sure they address any challenges and how they plan on fixing them.

  1. Are you happy?

Before leaving the salon, if you see something you don’t really like, keep the lines of communication open, and tell your stylist. If you look at your hair after getting home and do not fall in love with it, call them. Chances are your hairdresser is willing to make any changes needed.

Your stylist wants to see you happy with your new cut, style, and/or color. A successful outcome allows referrals, 5-star reviews and return visits-a hairdressers’ livelihood.

If you are looking for someone to listen to your hair needs and challenges, and create a look to fall in love with, contact Kim Creekmore at, on the web at or on Instagram @ Hairlovedesign.

One Comments

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