How to Perform a Color Diagnosis

Correctly diagnosing a client’s hair type is essential prior to commencing a color treatment. Misjudge at this critical stage and the final shade on the client’s hair may be very different to the one they were expecting.


Whilst it may be possible to adjust the color direction, or even lighten an unwanted shade, the actual damage will be measured in reduced customer confidence; they may never return!


It may be obvious from first impressions that a client has natural, virgin hair or artificially colored hair; however in many cases this is not easy to identify, particularly if a client has had a recent natural shade added! Always look at the roots first in order to identify any re-growth, then the lengths followed by the tips.


Factors to consider when performing a color diagnosis:

  • Natural hair color
  • Previous treatments
  • White hair percentage
  • Hair diameter
  • Hair quality
  • Scalp and skin condition

Always ask a new client if they are aware of any skin complaints or allergies they may have. Record any important information on their client record card. An allergy alert test should be performed in order to check for an adverse reaction to coloring chemicals.


A client should always be fully informed before commencing with a color treatment; if necessary get them to sign a form of consent indicating this.