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What is the most effective way to have a consultation with my hairstylist, barber, or aesthetician?
Think of a consultation as collaborating and/or co-creating together with the stylist, barber, or aesthetician. Collaborating or co-creating together allows you, the client, to give input to the stylist, barber, or aesthetician. They, in turn, use their expertise to determine if the request is realistic or suitable for you, and offers other suggestions based on specific, qualifying questions about yourself. Remember, whether or not this is your first visit or your 1,000th visit with the same professional, each appointment should be treated as though it was the first time you two are meeting.

What this may look like:
1) You are sitting in the stylist, barber, or aesthetician's chair.
2) The professional asks what you currently like or dislike about your haircut or color and what hair products you use. The aesthetician will ask you what you currently like or dislike about the quality of your skin and what skin care products you are currently using. You will also be asked if you feel the products you're using are delivering the results you want. They will also ask what different styles appeal to you and if you have any pictures to show. Finding pictures online makes it quick and easy to show a stylist or barber the exact look you want. If you don't have pictures, the stylist or barber will have a portfolio of either their own work or a collection of photos that represent their work.
3) The stylist or barber will assess your facial shape, hair texture, body shape, time and financial commitment, and how often you should schedule an appointment to maintain your particular style, color, or cut. Other factors include your lifestyle, marital status, and if you have children. These specific questions ensure realistic expectations for attainable results for you, as the client, as well as for the stylist, barber, or aesthetician.
4) The stylist, barber, or aesthetician will offer tips on how to properly maintain your scalp, hair, and skin in between services. As important as the cut, color, perm, relaxer, and facial treatments are, the products you use to maintain them are equally as important. The products must be viewed as part of your service. Keep in mind that not all products are created equal in their performance or the ingredients they contain. It's very important to use the best quality you can afford to properly maintain and retain the results.

Here are things you can do to improve your skin, scalp, and hair:
Your scalp and hair condition play a great role in determining how your hair will receive and retain color, perms, relaxers, and other treatments. The same applies to the condition of your skin when it comes to applying makeup. The better condition your skin is in, the more vibrant, fresh, and healthy your complexion will be and the more natural your makeup application will look.

What training or advanced training does my stylist receive and is it ongoing?
It's completely within your right to ask when consulting with the new stylist, barber, or aesthetician where they received their training. Are they involved in ongoing, advanced training and do they have a specialty? It is not always a qualifier for a professional to have been in the business for a number of years, as it is more important that their skill set keeps improving through the years. This is especially important when it comes to services, such as relaxers and perms and advanced facial treatments. One is not an expert from taking one or two classes.

How do my stylist and I maintain communication?
Make sure both parties repeat what each other is saying to clarify that both are communicating on the same level. Ever get lost in translation? What is red to you may mean orange to the stylist. Again, this is why visual aids are so crucial in helping to communicate clearly what the desire is. When it comes to hair cutting or shaping hair, visual aids ensure both of you discuss and agree on the length or shape. When discussing various facial treatments, it's a good idea to have a strategic game plan before you schedule a session or multiple sessions.

What if my stylist and I are not a good fit?
If you feel you are not communicating or are not a great match, book a consultation elsewhere. It is better to spend some time having multiple consultations and finding a fit than it is to spend time and money not getting what you want.