Why do customers lie about their hair?
It happened to you before: a new client comes to your salon with a head full of straight hair and dreams about luscious curls. They swear their hair is virgin, never even touched before, unprocessed and good as new. So, you are sectioning her hair, rolling it into rods, doing all that perm drill. Then you apply the solution. Everything looks fine… until a few moments later you are picking a rod and unravelling it slightly to see how things are going. You expect to see a slight swirl, only to find a sad, melting noodle instead.
You instantly know that your customer wasn’t honest with you. You swear under your breath, trying to salvage the situation, while your customer throws a tantrum of the century. You are understandably annoyed with the situation but also very confused – why would your client straight up lie to you about the state of their hair? Let’s find the answer and solution on how to prevent this from happening.
They want to have their hair done as soon as possible
Many customers are perfectly aware that knowing their hair condition, you would advise them against getting the particular treatment done. But they want their dream hairstyle done so badly – and they want it done right now. So they lie to you simply because they are not patient enough. They often convince themselves that your precautions are exaggerated and that nothing will go wrong.
Sure, sometimes hair takes the treatment better than we except, but it is not always so. One client’s hair may survive extensive bleaching, even with several layers of box dye on them, other ones’ may turn into a trainwreck. As everything organic, hair is pretty much unpredictable, but knowing the chemical processes of particular treatments and certain ingredients in your products, hair stylists are able to judge which ones shouldn’t be done in a short space of time from one another. However, some clients just persist they know better.
What to do?
In this case, it’s best to stick to the strand test policy. Before doing any chemical treatment (dying, bleaching, relaxing, perming and so on) on a new client, invite them for a strand test. It will determine their hair suitability for a given process and will help verify specifics, such as processing time. It is also wise to do a skin test in case of allergic reactions (some of them may be very severe and include extensive swelling, nausea, vomiting, fainting and respiratory issues that in most unfortunate cases may lead to death). What’s alarming, even the customers that didn’t experience allergic reactions before may develop the conditions to have one overtime. Though the cases are rare, they may be very serious.
Other kinds of tests you can do include: an elasticity test (to determine the condition of the cortex), porosity test (to determine the condition of the cuticle) and incompatibility test (to determine the presence of metallic salt). You can perform them whether you feel like your customer’s hair state is questionable – tests won’t lie to you after all!
They think enough time has passed
Some clients don’t lie to you – they just believe that the treatments they had done previously are already washed out, so they don’t matter. Actually, it is a very common case – clients get so used to the effect of the treatment that they don’t even notice it anymore, and hence assume it’s already gone. They are not trying to fool you, they are just uninformed.
What to do?
In this case, be very specific when asking about the previous treatments. Ask how much time passed since they had their hair done and what was the treatment. Mention that you want them to be thorough, as the information is important. Explain that specific services may affect one another and clarify what is the safe period of time between particular treatments.
If it is your returning client, simply check their appointment history in your Versum software. A customer may have forgotten the last time they were in your salon, but your system sure doesn’t!
They are too embarrassed about their DIYs
Remember when you were a kid and you really, really wanted to colour your bangs blue because it seemed to be the hottest trend around, but your mom kept saying no? When you finally coloured the front of your hair with a navy blue marker and it looked terrible, smelt even worse and dyed everything around, your cheeks included? How keen were you on going to your mom and confessing your wild moment of artistry?
This is why your clients may want to conceal certain facts about their hair history. They don’t want you – a professional – to judge their unsuccessful treatments, cuts and colourings. They are aware, at least to some extent, that what they did was wrong – and now they are ashamed. Some may even prefer to further risk the condition of their hair than to confess what exactly they did to it!
What to do?
Be supportive, understanding and stay classy no matter what you hear (and see). Don’t be judgemental – always educate, never criticize! Once again, explain that services affect one another and that you have to be sure that enough time passed since they have done something that influences the state of hair. Remember that if you make the customer feel bad about what they did with their hair, they will probably start avoiding your salon – or even hair salons as a whole. Don’t let it happen!
They genuinely have no idea what affects particular treatments
Lastly – some customers don’t even lie to you at all! You are the hair expert – you are aware of chemical reactions that take place during specific treatments. But many clients have no clue that past treatments can affect new ones. They simply don’t look at hair treatments so in depth as you do! Either they consider it a beauty treatment that can do no harm, or that a service they had in the past will have no influence on their future hair decisions whatsoever.
What to do?
Always do in-depth hair consultations as a part of your service, especially if the customer is new – and write down everything significant in your Versum software. You can prepare yourself a sheet with questions to ask a client on their first visit and share it with all your employees – this way you won’t forget to check any details or mention any dependencies between services!
Customer dishonesty or pure unawareness may easily ruin the effect of your hard work. You both clearly play in the same team, as you want your client to be your walking portfolio and they want their hair to look as breathtaking as possible – but they still may try to fool you. Learn how to talk with your clients in a way that they can understand your true motives and be aware of the things that may cause their unwillingness to tell the truth. Make in-depth consultations and short education sessions a part of your service. Also, get yourself a digital helper that will help you keep in mind a whole history of your customer’s hair. Stay conscious and try out Versum software today!