Some hairstylists fail in this business because they do not understand why

clarity is so important.  Clarity, or clearness, is the ability to ask the right questions so that all parties get what they want. Misunderstandings are inevitable but if every effort is made to clear the lines of communication, then there are less mishaps.

In the hairstyling industry, why clarity is so important is that it could affect your bottom line.  This is why

the first rule you are taught is to have a consultation. During the consultation, you are expected to ask the necessary questions to see if both of you agree on what is wanted.  Some factors that affect the outcome are:


  • The client may have no idea what they want to have done, but know they need a change;
  • Be shy because it is their first time at a salon;
  • Just moved to the area and are nervous about changing stylists;
  • Knows what they want but also wants to control how you will do it;
  • Nervous when doing anything new;
  • Price conscious;
  • Wants confirmation they will look like a supermodel after the service. 

Even a seasoned hairstylist will tell there are many accidents that you avoid by doing a simple consultation.  After all, you have seen everything right?  When you get like this is when you are prone to making mistakes.  Here a few ways this can happen:

  • On several occasions, clients asked to take 2-3 inches off the length of their hair.  Being the amazing stylist that I am, I ask them to indicate with their fingers what this means.  In almost all the instances, they space indicated between their fingers was ¼ of an inch! Hairstyling rule 101, use the scale on your cutting comb or let them show you on the actual hair, how much they actually want cut!.
  • People from different cultures, countries use similar names for services that have no relevance to what they really want.  I have had people use the word “conditioning” when booking for a “relaxer” and are stunned when you tell them you have to change the price.
  • Some cultures have a loose understanding when it comes to timekeeping and think going to a hair appointment can be 2-3 hours later than you agreed..  
  • Some clients feel that bringing their product exempts them from paying for your time, technique and styling abilities when it comes to pricing.
  • Many come from countries where haggling on the price is normal and they always want deep discounts.
  • When choosing a particular hairstyle, try to have a shot of the back as well as the front, because a picture is worth a thousand words.  Many will bring a photo of the front of the haircut but have no idea what is at the back.
These are of course, just some of the reasons why clarity is so important in the hair salon, and if you always try to listen to what the customer wants, you will have a wonderful career.

By Paula Barker, Silkie Locks Hair Design 

Call (613) 789-2179 For An Appointment If You Are In The Ottawa, Ontario Area.