There are so many questions we’re trying to answer right now as we try to figure out what the right thing to do is and how we’re going to get through this time.

For hairstylists they have another one:  how do you respond to your clients Direct Messages/Facebook pleas/emails/texts/whatsapps/ begging for advice about managing their colour?

Well, here’s what not to do…..

Yes, it might bring in some much-needed cash flow, but the long-term costs to both your business and other local salons are immense.

What is the difference between at home colour and professional colour?

We all know there are some fundamental differences in the colour products that are available in the salon and the supermarket – that the ingredients are lower quality than the professional ones and the technology is a few years behind the most up to date colour you use in your salon.

But the colour is only a fraction of what clients pay for when they have their hair coloured anyway.

They pay for the experience, the stylist’s expertise, the colour that has been mixed personally for them (usually multiple shades), the shadowing so it reflects what nature would do, the balayaging and highlight technique, or the root touch up that DOESN’T create unsightly bands.

If you’re giving that advice via a facetime consultation, you’re giving away your professional edge. And that is something you can never get back

Advise don’t dictate

However, there are loads of videos doing the rounds on social media with messages from hairdressers telling their clients ‘whatever you do don’t use home colour’.

I think that’s a mistake too.

We don’t remember what people say, we remember how they made us feel.

And right now, we’re hearing quite a lot of what we can’t do! When what we’re really looking for is some positivity. So be the hairstylist who serves your client and you’ll be remembered.

So, what does professional advice look like right now? Use your mailing list and your social media to…

  1. Advise them that you really don’t believe it’s a good idea to use at home colour – and explain why.
  2. Encourage your clients to give their hair a rest – sell the benefits of the great condition it’s going to be in and how that will help it look better than ever when they finally do get it coloured – and remind them that they’re not going to be seeing people or going out out. This is a good opportunity to talk retail if you’re
  3. Offer them alternatives. Colour Wow is a popular professional choice. Coloured dry shampoos will hide a multitude of sins for another week or so, a make-up palette can do wonders for a Zoom call or a House Party ?
  4. Make it clear that the most important part of any colour service is a patch test. Talk about how and why you do it – and why you’d never colour hair without one.
  5. Leave your own colour to grow out gracefully and start a ‘show us your roots’ competition on your social media accounts. You can give out weekly prizes (gift vouchers redeemable against future services, of course) for the roots of the week.

Back yourself to thrive on the other side

Here’s the thing. Some of your clients are going to use at home colour. Some of them (you know who they are) would actually fall apart if their roots were exposed.

Some of them might get on well with doing at home colour (damn you, Victoria Beckham); others will have disasters that they are going to need you to fix.

You can’t control that.

But, and this is the important bit…. most of your clients will never have been more grateful to you or more aware of how important you are too them.

So, if you have the expertise, offer the experience and deliver beautiful colour results* your clients are going to be queuing out your door on the .

*If you’re not sure you offer those things, this is the perfect time to up your game.