Passionate about making a life-changing impact on your clients?
Whether you're new to the biz or a pro hair extension specialist, you can never go wrong from learning more about the hair trends taking over the industry. By simply setting aside time to upskill and perfect your craft, you'll be able to serve your clients better, forge stronger bonds with them, and take your business to new heights!
But hey, don’t let the big picture overwhelm you! Of course, getting trained on all aspects of your business is great, but you don’t have to master everything at once. Instead, we recommend that you take a more strategic approach by focusing on what really matters and creating a bigger impact in less time. The secret? Start by transforming the way you do your hair extension consultations.
"But aren’t consultations just ... consultations?"
Wrong! While they are often viewed as a chance for clients to discuss what they want and learn about the pricing, this short rendezvous can be turned into a golden opportunity to build rapport and get clients excited about their next appointment with you.
The logic behind it is simple: Rush it, and you'll leave the client unsatisfied. Take your sweet time, and you'll run the risk of losing clients who have other things to do.
The key here is striking the right balance, beautiful!
During the consultation process, your focus shouldn’t be on upselling services or explaining using jargon, but on building a solid relationship with your client — listen to their needs, understand their expectations, and reassure them that they are in the right hands – yours. By focusing only on the most important areas you need to discuss with them, you'll be able to deliver a pre-service worth raving about, making you stand out from the rest.
It may sound like a bit of cliché advice, but you might be surprised by how many stylists fail to prepare well for the consultations, causing them to lose potential clients. But can we blame the clients for walking out? At the end of the day, no one wants to feel that they are being sold to, and that's precisely what they'll think the minute they sense how little you care about their needs.
But what exactly defines a perfect consultation? Let's find out in the section below!
Elements Of A Perfect Consultation
In this business, there are no hard and fast rules. Every client is different, so it's important to be flexible when working with them. However, there are certain elements that every consultation should include if you want your clients to walk away feeling like they've just gotten the best hair of their life because of you!
To help you get started, let's take a detailed look at the steps that happen before and during the day of the consultation.
Before The Consultation
Ask Relevant Questions
Before you allow a client to book a service, we highly recommend you take your time to get to know their expectations and current hair condition when they ask about your service. You can do this in multiple ways depending on your SOP — via SMS, social media, virtual appointment, phone call, etc.
The most important thing here is that you master the art of questioning so you’ll get a clearer idea of what the clients need and their expectations. Remember that the more you know, the better equipped you are to deliver the best service possible! The questions may vary, but here are some things you must cover:
- Their hair history and the products they regularly use
- The length and density of their hair
- Preferred maintenance routine – frequency and style
- Their budget and availability for the procedure
- The look they are going after
As they give their answers, this is an excellent opportunity for you to explain your recommended service and give them an idea of how it works. If this is their first time getting a consultation for extensions, chances are that they have several questions, so be patient and provide them with all the information they need.
If they ask you for a quotation, you may give them one based on the details you have (if not meeting in person), but be sure to clarify that the exact amount might change once you see their actual hair.
Ask For Photos
More often than not, clients cannot really describe the condition of their lovely locks. They might know that they have a few split ends here and there and that their hair colour is uneven, but other than that, they are clueless. This is where photos will come in handy!
By having a visual reference to look at, you'll be able to give a better assessment, set realistic expectations, and recommend the best hair extensions that are most suitable for their hair type.
If you've got an online booking site, you can also provide the clients with a few pictures and let them choose which one is closest to their hair's current state.
Explain The Usual Length For The Appointment
Consultation time can vary from one stylist to another. Some are not as thorough and will take about 10 minutes or less, while others will take an hour to give a comprehensive consultation. The length can also depend on how many questions you ask during the process, but you'll be able to finish in less than 20 minutes if you only cover the basics.
And while we’re talking about time, be sure to explain to your client the time commitment needed for the hair extension process. Unlike minor salon services like haircuts or treatments, this one is time-consuming so you’ll want to prepare them to settle in while you work your magic. If you're unsure, here's a basic guide:
- 2-4 hours: beaded weft, tape-in, and nano extensions
- 1-6 hours: keratin bonds (depending on application)
Once you've covered all the bases, it's time to schedule a face-to-face consultation.
If there's one thing that hair stylists agree on, it would be that it's super important to get the right colour match. It's not just about making your clients happy with how their hair looks, but it will also affect their self-confidence and mood (not to mention repeat business and referrals). If you don't get it right, they may feel uncomfortable wearing your extensions, or worse, they'll stop coming back!
So how do you avoid this? Well, the answer is simple: use a colour ring! By carefully holding each shade to the roots, mids, and ends of your client's hair, you'll be able to get a better idea of what colour will suit them best. Once you find at least two shades that complement one another, clip them to the natural hair and show them to your client so they can see what it looks like and
whether they're happy with it. If not, keep looking until you find a perfect combo that works for both of you!
You’ll also want to explain that the hair extension colour can fade the same way their actual hair colour fades. Philocaly hair extensions are made from 100% real human hair and are coloured with professional hair colour. This means blonde hair extensions will eventually turn brassy, just like natural blonde hair. Dark hair extensions will fade the same way dark-coloured hair will fade. If the client wants to upkeep the hair tone, they may have to pay to have the hair toned or coloured at maintenance appointments, just as they would with their own hair.
Discuss The Pricing
Depending on the number of shades you'll work with and the style your client is going for, the pricing may significantly change from the quotation you gave them during the pre-consultation.
Since hair extensions are a big investment, it’d be best to ask your client to provide you with a budget to work with. This way, you can filter through the options and recommend the right ones. Take the step to explain how much each pack of extensions will cost and how many packs will be needed based on what look they want. Don’t forget to include any additional services like colour.
Once you have a price in mind, we at Philocaly highly recommend informing your client of the total cost of the service and hair extensions during the consultation. To officially book their appointment, we recommend that you collect a minimum of a 50% deposit for their hair extensions.
Set Realistic Expectations
One common mistake many rookie stylists make is setting unrealistic expectations for the client. For example, you will be able to get the client's hair extensions installed in one session, but they'll have to come back regularly for a touch-up.
If it's their first time, they may think that the extensions will last a lifetime when in reality, they'll need to be replaced after a few months or so. Perhaps, they also need to know that the extensions need to be trimmed like natural hair to keep a healthy look. So before your client signs up for the process, explain everything they need to know first.
Need a bit of help? Here's an estimate that you can use the next time you consult with your clients:
- Keratin bonds: not reusable and needs replacement every four months
- Hand-tied and flat weft extensions: last up to 12 months (with proper care)
Give Aftercare Advice
As we all know, hair extensions may seem like a permanent solution, but they require regular maintenance.
Before you book a client for an appointment, don't forget to give them a list of instructions on how to care for their new extensions. Also, ensure your client understands what they will look like when they leave and what they can do at home to maintain that fabulous new look.
Since hair extensions are not attached to the scalp, there are no natural oils to help the extensions stay hydrated. This is why one of the most essential aftercare steps we recommend is washing the hair 1-3 times a week, and using a hair mask 1-2 times a month to keep the hair extensions looking and feeling their best.
Ready to upgrade your consultations? Find out more about how you can improve your business by downloading this FREE guide. While you’re there, be sure to register for a professional account! The guide is filled with tips and tricks to help you make more money, improve client retention, and grow your salon’s reputation.