Paperwork. What a buzzkill, right?

A stock image of blue and purple paper airplanes

We’re fairly certain you didn’t enter the colorful world of cosmetology to be pushing papers. In fact, a majority of you were probably drawn to pursue hair styling as a career to escape the mundane tasks of office work.

But hear us out a minute … imagine your client walks into your salon, ready for her appointment. She’s been in only once before, and that was several months ago. You think she may have received some sort of color treatment, but can’t remember exactly what because you didn’t ask her to complete a client consultation form or record the service on a color card. You take her to your chair and ask her what she would like done today. “I want exactly what you did last time.” Uh-oh…

Your options now become A) admit you didn’t record the last service and you unfortunately can’t promise her color today will come out exactly as it did last time, or B) rack your brain as best you can, go on with the technique and formula you think you probably used last time, and hope for the best. Neither option is preferable, and it places both of you in an uncomfortable situation. By not having the proper documentation, you not only risk upsetting and losing a client, but you also risk diminishing your reputation as a responsible, attentive hair stylist.

Whether they tickle your organizational soul, or you’d prefer to avoid them at all costs, business forms are a vital and necessary aspect of salon and client management. But try to think of them as more of an extension of your professional handshake.

A stock image of two women talking over counterClient consultation forms are an incredibly useful way for new clients to tell you important aspects about themselves that may be relevant to not only their service, but to their safety. Knowing more about their hair-care history can serve as your first indicator to any contraindications, allowing you to further discuss any red flags during the consultation. How often does your client flat iron their hair? When was the last time they received a chemical texture treatment? Have they ever had an adverse reaction to products, treatments, or chemicals that were used on them? The info contained in a client consultation form is invaluable to have on hand. By recording the information, it can be revisited before each consecutive appointment, helping you establish a game plan with much more ease and confidence while establishing that you care about them and will keep them safe.

Equally as important as the consultation forms is maintaining color records. View these as your ultimate service cheat sheets. Recording the condition of your client’s hair and the desired result, followed by your formula, placement, steps, and timing with a summary of the outcome, including thoughts on adjustments for next appointment, will have you being promoted to Hair Wizard status in no time! Whether your client wants the same color as her last appointment or wants to change it up, keeping current and accurate notes of what you have done in the past will make your job easier and leave more time for you to be creative and have fun. Talk about a win-win!

While it may not be the most exciting aspect of your day-to-day duties, these records are an absolute must. Aside from impressing your client with your professionalism, maintaining records of your client’s hair care and history is insightful, saves you time, and keeps your client safe.

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Roots consultations and communication cover imageWant to learn more about communication best practices? Check out our AHP Resource Book:

Consultations & Communication

This book will touch on consultations (of course), keeping client records, saying no, and even some of the ways we’re inadvertently communicating to clients that it’s okay to be a “bad” client. Enjoy these articles, but then make sure to get to your local AHP Root gathering for real talk with fellow hair professionals about their consultation and communication best practices, and maybe even some shared camaraderie over client communication frustrations.

Download your FREE Resource Book here!


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