The importance of managing client expectations when working with high maintenance colour

Katie Hale, head colourist at Charles Worthington, shares her take on total transparency when discussing ‘hair goals’ and  working with high-maintenance shades


Katie Hale

“Creativity is fun for hairdressers but can be scary for clients. New hair techniques or trends can also be intimidating for them, especially when they visit a salon for the first time.

Personally, I like it when a new client brings out a visual image of their “hair goals” in the consultation. Of course, it’s then up to me to be realistic and manage their expectations about the colour. Does it suit their skin tone? We use our Charles Worthington Colour Fan to determine which colours are best suited. It’s also important to consider whether it is going to suit their life style, or is it even achievable, or will the colour require a journey to get them there? Sometimes, I also get clients to show me images of colours they do not like, I then get a taste of the clients likes and dislikes.

There are so many creative and different names when clients can now search for hair online, meaning that sometimes just researching ‘blonde balayage’ can leave them feeling confused and unsure about what to ask for. We wanted to come up with something for our clients that made it easy for them during their consultation or when booking. A tool that will help them easily choose a colour technique that is right for them.

As head of colour for Charles Worthington, I have to come up with new colour techniques throughout the year. With hair images plastered all over social media and the up rise of colour trends, even I can be overwhelmed by what I see when scanning the internet. So, we came up with our Blonde Menu. It’s an easy way for clients to navigate when booking and a tool to be used during the consultation.

Each blonde is broken down with an easy description of each look and the maintenance required, as well as the costs involved. This way clients can look at the menu and decide whether they can commit to the upkeep of their chosen blonde, or whether they need to find a lower maintenance blonde that suits. From bronze bronde to foilayage, ilumi lights and bebe lights and even the blondest of blondes, the menu is designed to showcase six main blonde looks which are most in demand, but with varying levels of maintenance required. It’s a great way to educate our clients on the maintenance and cost required to achieve the requested look.”

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