It may surprise you to hear that this is a common problem. Clients and stylists do not speak the same language, so it is no surprise there are some speed bumps along the information highway. The key is to find the in-between so this joint venture is a success.
Some clients have had a bad experience in the past, and are afraid to say anything at all. The stylist then needs to take a little extra time to coax them out of their shell, making them feel comfortable telling their tale of woe. The stylist should repeat back to the client (in layman’s terms) what they heard, and special note should be made of the things the client didn’t like. I like to have this reiterative conversation face to face, not in the mirror. The client needs to feel like they are really being listened to, and their fears are being heard. Once this is accomplished, I then step behind the chair and start touching the hair, shortly recapping the conversation. The client generally feels more comfortable at this point, and the consultation can then get down to the nitty gritty of what is next.
Consultation skills vary from stylist to stylist. They are a learned, acquired art form. A delicate balance of give and take that requires patience and flexibility by both people. The client needs to be aware of when to listen and acquiesce to the stylist’s professional knowledge, and the stylist needs to know when to let the client direct some of what is to happen. If the client is comfortable, the chances of them returning to you multiply. Grandma may say silence is golden, but As The Curl Turns believes that communication is expected by both parties.
p.s- having a holiday get together? If there is coffee spillage, rinse immediately with cold water and rub with a white dishwashing liquid. Then rub with a mixture of one part white vinegar and three parts water, and rinse again.