How to Address Unrealistic Color Expectations

As stylists, we often encounter clients with unrealistic color expectations. While it’s exciting to bring their hair dreams to life, managing these expectations is crucial to ensure client satisfaction and maintain the integrity of our work. In this blog, we’ll explore common unrealistic color expectations and provide practical tips on how to address them effectively.

Unrealistic Expectation: Instant Transformation

Clients sometimes expect an instant and drastic color transformation in a single salon visit, regardless of their starting hair color or texture. Managing this expectation is essential to prevent disappointment and potential damage to the hair.

Approach: Educate clients on the process of achieving their desired color, explaining that multiple sessions may be necessary to achieve the desired result safely. Set realistic goals and create a long-term color plan, emphasizing the importance of maintaining hair health throughout the journey.

Unrealistic Expectation: Celebrity Hair Requests

Many clients bring in photos of celebrities with stunning hair colors, expecting an exact replica on their own hair. However, it’s important to understand that each individual’s hair is unique, and achieving an identical result may not be feasible.

Approach: Have an open and honest conversation with the client about their desired look. Highlight the need to adapt the color to suit their hair type, skin tone, and lifestyle. Offer alternative options that complement their features and explain how these adjustments will enhance their overall appearance.

Unrealistic Expectation: Color Durability

Some clients anticipate that their hair color will remain vibrant and flawless for an extended period without any maintenance. However, color fading is inevitable, especially with vibrant fashion shades.

Approach: Educate clients about the factors that contribute to color fading, such as sun exposure, heat styling, and regular washing. Recommend professional hair care products specifically formulated to extend the life of their color. Advise on the importance of regular salon visits for touch-ups and toning to maintain the desired shade.

Unrealistic Expectation: DIY or DON’T

Clients who have attempted DIY color at home often have unrealistic expectations based on their previous experiences or online tutorials. They may underestimate the complexities and cost involved in achieving professional salon results.

Approach: Express empathy and understanding towards their previous experiences, but highlight the expertise, knowledge and investment required to achieve the desired outcome. Explain the potential risks and damage that can occur from home coloring, emphasizing the benefits of professional expertise and customized solutions.


Effectively managing unrealistic color expectations is an essential skill for salon stylists. By setting realistic goals, educating clients about the process, and offering alternative options, we can foster better communication and ensure client satisfaction. Remember, it’s our expertise that transforms hair dreams into beautiful realities while maintaining the health and integrity of the hair. Let’s continue to exceed expectations while providing a realistic and enjoyable color experience for our clients.