Back to Basics: Your Essential Color Consultation Checklist

After running through the steps to give an effective client consultation, it is important to double check the following (before getting creative with color!):


You have a clear and understanding of the client’s wishes

Don't assume your client's wishes are still the same as when they booked the appointment! They may have booked to come in for a repeat color service or maybe a new look but sometimes things change; there may be a new viral look from social media they want to try, or their hair condition just simply won't allow for a rinse/repeat service!


Remember to confirm what service the client made the appointment for and then ask if this is still the case – if they seem unsure run through some color options with them, explaining the pros and cons of each. For example, services may include:

  • Refreshing natural color tones
  • Adding a temporary fashion tone
  • Adding a permanent fashion tone
  • Adding a creative highlight
  • Covering white hair

If a full colour consultation is required, details can be found via: 

3 Step Colour Consultation


There may also be new products available that allow for uncompromized coloring or new levels of lift. If your client's preferences have changed since the initial appointment was booked, remember to also outline the following:

  • The cost of the new service(s)
  • Any additional service recommendations
  • The overall durability of the color 

You have analyzed your clients hair type and completed any testing

Client's should always receive a clear recommendation and color consultation based on their wishes and colour expectations. However, to accurately give these recommendations you will need to have an understanding of your client's hair condition. Testing should include:

  • Porosity Test
  • Diameter Test
  • Elasticity Test
  • Allergy Alert Test (AAT)
  • Incompatibility Test / Metallic Salts Test 

Full analysis details can be found via: 

How to Analyze Your Client's Hair and How to Perform a Color Diagnosis


You can create the right color formula using the correct equipment, products and scales

Creating the right color formula for your clients hair is more involved than most people think. Not only will you need to consider your client’s color expectations from the initial consultation, you will need to take into account your clients hair condition and the different color products required for the service. Plus:

  • Target shade
  • Preparation requirements (e.g. oxidative vs. non-oxidative colors)
  • Mixing ratio
  • Processing time
  • Application technique

Further color preparation details can be found via: 

There is More to Mixing Hair Color Than You Might Think and Selecting Which Color Product Best Suits the Job


You communicate clearly with the client at every stage

Discuss your choice of color product with your client and explain the coloring procedure and products used; be reassuring of the colors and service(s). Don’t forget:

  • Discuss after-care requirements and talk to your client about the recommended products to maintain their new color at home; allow them time to touch and smell the product
  • Always complete a Client Record Card so that you have complete color details on your client (noting any changes)

Further retailing advice can be found via: 

Your Salon Team Can Help Make Retailing a Success and What Are the Costs of Running a Salon?


This checklist is by no means exhaustive and further reading (via the suggested links) is recommended.