If you get hold of a head of hair on somebody you’ve never seen before, cut beautiful shapes, cut beautiful architectural angles and she walks out looking so different – I think that’s masterful.
– Vidal Sassoon

This is what the art of hairdressing is all about.

Taking a blank canvass and creating something beautiful.

Often clients will go to a salon with a picture from a magazine or a screenshot on their phone of a hairstyle or hair color or cut they like – and ask the stylist to give them the same look. The problem is that while someone might think they want Jennifer Lopez’s hairstyle – unless they have her bone structure, skin tone — they won’t get the same result.

Over 7 billion people populate Earth and each one has a unique face, which is pretty astonishing when you think about it. – Business Insider

When it comes to hair – having a few pictures is great for inspiration – but your hairstyle should be unique as you are.

Find a look that is tailored for you.

“….the art of consultation and cut, changing the way we see beauty according to the client’s life.”
Cut Craft and Triple Craft
Stephen Moody, Global Education Academy Dean, Wella Professional

: one that possesses the power to make having a good hair day every day – a reality.

Hairtellers Sound Advice - Bernardi Beauty Blog (1)

So now we turn to a professional – Rachel Fortino [R.F] – to get some insight on what goes into a consultation with a client – there are so many factors to take into consideration – more than you’d imagine.

It might just surprise you.

The first step for me – is I get my hands in their hair – so I can feel what I am working with. You can tell a lot about a client based on the condition of their hair. Whether they are healthy or unhealthy, when they had a baby, the last time they had their hair colored.

To me, if you don’t know what you are working with – you can’t help guide them in the right direction.

A lot of times, before I even know their name – I can tell whether they eat meat or are a vegetarian. Whether they are healthy or stressed out people – just by their hair. [R.F]

Amazing right?

Your Stylist can tell so much about your lifestyle from how your hair looks and feels.  This should make you rethink your diet. What you eat affects everything – including your skin and hair.

If you aren’t eating properly – I can’t do anything to your hair. 

I can tell immediately if a client has been stressed out or not eating properly. Diet – getting enough protein – is important for healthy hair – it makes a huge difference. 

Step two of my consultation – is face shape,  facial features – things you want to enhance or camouflage a little bit. And obviously eye color is more important when you’re doing a consultation for hair color. 

Next – I talk about their lifestyle. How much time they spend on their hair, how often they wash it, do they go to the gym every day.

Your hairstyle should be based on the amount of time and effort you have to recreate the style at home. If it doesn’t fit your lifestyle – you won’t feel good every day. 

You have to give your clients a hairstyle that not only suits their features but also their lifestyle. [R.F]

I think this is where the disconnect lies. When someone can’t recreate the hairstyle their Stylist gives them, they get frustrated. They aren’t happy. But it’s not the haircut or style – it’s because they don’t have the time to maintain it.

Some people come to see me and say – I don’t use product in my hair – don’t put product in my hair. When I ask them why – they say it is one less step they have to do. 

But taking that extra 30 seconds to add the right product to your hair will add another day of life to your hairstyle.

You have to ask the right questions in a consultation – because you can give them the best haircut but if they can’t maintain the look at home – they won’t feel good – and it’s not good advertising for you as a Stylist. [R.F]

Hair Contouring

One of the cool things Wella Professionals is doing right now – is they are offering a color contouring class. To me it allows Stylists to personalize a hairstyle that much more. Now not only can you  enhance or camouflage facial features with a haircut – you can do it with color too. You’re lighting features you want to brighten, your darkening features you want to shadow. [R.F]

If you want to bring pictures to a consultation – Rachel recommends bringing photos of people who look similar to you – features, skin tone etc.

I think Stylists sometimes underestimate their ability to give a good consultation. [R.F]

We were very lucky because during my interview with Rachel her father – hair pioneer Alex Fortino [A.F] was with her.

Here was his take on the consultation process.

Take charge!

If a consultation goes wrong – it is always on the Stylist. The Stylist has to take control. It’s not enough to guide the process. A good consultation comes when you  are confident in what you are going to do. You have to have a good vision and be assertive. They came to you for a consultation- you have to take charge. [A.F]