Some keratin treatments use the name Brazilian hair straightening, so it’s important to note that the Brazilian Blowout® is a specific brand of keratin hair straightening treatment. Both systems are used in salons to eliminate frizz, add intense shine, smooth hair, and either loosen or remove the hair’s natural curl pattern. Brazilian Blowouts® average 3 months, while clients can generally extend keratin treatments 3-5 months, subjective to hair length, density, and natural curl pattern. Whether you’re using the branded Brazilian Blowout® or a comparable keratin straightening system, here’s how to structure client consultations to prepare them in advance of their service.
1. Make Consultation Part of the Service
Even when servicing an established client, for every new keratin treatment or Brazilian Blowout®, make sure that client consultations are part of the service. You might want to set up your scheduling to include a 15-20-minute consultation with the client’s deposit payment. Consultations are especially important when scheduling and performing any major chemical service. A consultation allows both you and the client to set realistic expectations for the service result. It also sets aside time before the service begins to review any previous chemical services that might affect the outcome. This information is easy to collect with a form completed prior to the consultation. This time is also ideal to brief your client on preparation and aftercare instructions, to ensure service integrity after they leave the salon.
Pro Tip: Not sure how to start these conversations? Use the Sample Scripts below as guidelines for how you might prepare clients for the service during your consultation.
“Hello Jessica, it’s great to see you! Thanks for coming in today to chat before we book your appointment. Before we schedule out the time, I wanted to meet with you, so I’ll know what you’re looking for from this service and make sure I’ve got everything I need on hand before you come in. Depending on what kind of keratin treatment we decide on today, I also wanted to make sure that you’ll know what you need to do before your appointment and in the days following the service. That’ll help make sure you have the look you want and it lasts as long as possible for you.”
2. Make Sure Clients Know What They’re Getting
Because Brazilian Blowout® is a trademarked keratin straightener brand whose name has become interchangeable with the service, this consultation step is vital to positive customer experiences. Use consultation time to clarify what result they’re looking for out of the service. From there, ask targeted questions to find out if they expect the Brazilian Blowout® brand or a comparable keratin treatment to achieve the desired outcome. Knowing their expectation is important due to the considerable price tag of the service. The higher the cost, the more important it is to deliver on expectations. This helps provide the best experience for your client and safeguards you from negative reviews.
“So, Jessica, because there are a lot of keratin straightening systems out there, I wanted to see if there was one in particular you’re interested in. The Brazilian Blowout® brand is one system we could use, but our salon also has used Goldwell’s Kerasilk Control, Keratin Complex treatment, Brocato Supersilk Smoothing System, Cezanne Perfect Finish, and Trissola Solo on our clients. For the overall effect you want, let’s review what each of these systems offers so you’ll know what your options are, and exactly what I’ll be using on your hair.”
3. Addressing Formaldehyde Fears
Some clients may want the effect of a Brazilian blowout, but harbor fears because of the formaldehyde gas hazard alert issued in the early days of the product’s availability. Here’s how to address those concerns and offer formaldehyde-free alternatives. First, use the consultation to educate your clients a little bit about all the progress that’s been made in the science of keratin straightening services. No hair treatment contains formaldehyde directly. However, many keratin straighteners do contain chemicals that release formaldehyde gas upon being heated or mixed with water. Of course, during the consultation you’ll want to make sure to ask about any pre-existing health conditions that might be of concern. If you follow the product instructions and perform the service in a well-ventilated area, formaldehyde shouldn’t be a health or safety hazard. However, for clients who have health issues or prefer a keratin straightener without formaldehyde, be ready with alternatives. Goldwell Kerasilk Control, Keratin Complex treatment, Brocato Supersilk Smoothing System, Cezanne Perfect Finish, and Trissola Solo are formaldehyde-free formulations that achieve similar effects.
“OSHA has provided a list of chemicals that release minimal amounts of formaldehyde gas when used in this service. I’ve included that link in your consultation email, so you can review it before your service if you want to take some time to consider your options before we schedule the appointment. Because the salon is open and well-ventilated, it shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you want to use a keratin straightener that doesn’t contain the formaldehyde-releasing chemicals, we can go over the alternatives. We’ve used Trissola Solo, Goldwell Kerasilk Control, and Cezanne Perfect Finish and had comparable results. While there’s a little less gloss and sleekness, and they don’t last quite as long, for your hair, they’re great options.”
4. Know Your Worth
The toughest part you’ll navigate in your consultation is the checkout price of the service, which averages $300+. For a keratin straightening service lasting 10-12 weeks, this costs out to around $3.50 daily – about the same as a trip to the coffee shop. If your clients are hesitant because of the total, remind them that their deposit is deducted at checkout, effectively splitting the price by a percentage. If your salon offers IOUs or structured automated payments, you can review those options with your client as well. Customers may be tempted to try and talk you down on the price. Post pricing policies to stay firm on the value of your time, the specialized nature of the service, and the specific products the service requires. Valuating the service cost is especially important if your client is using a Daily Deal or promotional discount significantly reducing the service’s standard price. Don’t forget to let these clients know that when they come back for a touch-up, the standard price will be effective. This prevents a negative customer experience due to sticker shock later.
“Okay, Jessica, I think we’re ready to schedule your service. We’ll need about three hours in the salon, and we’re going to be using the Goldwell Kerasilk system for your hair, since you want to touch up your color afterwards. We can set you up for 2 weeks after your keratin treatment to do your color. Now, for this first Kerasilk straightener, you’ve already paid a $100 deposit, and you’re using our Daily Deal, which brings down the price considerably. You probably won’t need a touch-up for at least 3 months. But when you book your retouch, I want you to be aware that the cost without the Daily Deal is going to be around $375, so you don’t get surprised down the road. Let’s get your next appointments on the books now. Do you have a sulfate-free shampoo at home to care for your service, or should we get you set up with one of those today?”
August 21 is Brazilian Blowout Day! Do your clients want to add shine, fight frizz, or smooth out their curls? Make sure your Vagaro business listing includes Brazilian Blowouts and other keratin straightening treatments in your service menu! If you have clients that are interested in the service but are still on the fence, have them read up on the different hair straightening systems available, and then book their appointment with you through Vagaro! Want to show us your work? Tag us on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #BrazilianBlowoutDay!
Header Image: @SashaNell via Twenty20
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