How I Almost Sent My Client To The Hospital

Marquetta Breslin  by Marquetta Breslin • June 2, 2013

As stylists one of the things we always dread is getting that phone call from a client saying something is wrong.

It's happened to all of us no matter how good you are or how long you've been doing hair.

In fact, it just happened to me last week. Let me share this story with you…

One of my regular clients scheduled an appointment with me to get her hair colored. I always get super excited when I have a color client since that's one of my favorite things to do.

She came in and wanted a 3-dimensional color block. No problem, I had colored her hair before using Wella Color Touch and had no problems so that's what I planned on using for her underneath color.

The dimensional block was done with Scruples Blazing since she had a bit of existing color on her hair.

Everything came out beautifully, but since she's in the military she was a little uncomfortable with the color being as light as it was so she decided to go darker.

So I applied Wella Color Touch (deposit only demi color) to her hair to go slightly darker, and long story short we ended up going back to her natural color after three demi color applications.

Still, no problem. I applied the color and everything came out perfectly fine.

Two Days later I received a phone call from this same client saying her scalp feels very irritated and her eyes were almost swollen shut.

“OMG!” My eyes got big and I immediately started to recount everything I did to make sure I didn't skip any steps.

I informed her that I thought she was having an allergic reaction to the hair color and had her come in so I could take a look at her scalp and make sure her hair wasn't going to fall out.

Her scalp looked irritated, but it was a sure sign of an allergic reaction. Since I'm no doctor I encouraged her to go and see her doctor for a proper diagnosis.

I sent her away with sensitive scalp shampoo and conditioner, which later ended up helping a great deal. I then had her come back in one week for me to check everything again.

One week later her scalp looked amazing and she was feeling much better. Thank God!

If I ever have a situation like this I always take time to reflect and see how I can change thing or if I could have made the situation better.

Here's two things I learned from this situation that I can pass on to you…

1. Patch test! I know it's a nuisance and we never want to do it, but doing a patch test on your client is a MUST.

Now, I had already used this line on my client before so I didn't see a need to do one. I should have asked her if her scalp was irritated the last time her hair was done.

I did not do that and I should have.

That's why your client consultation is everything! Learn from my mistake and patch test.

2. Follow your intuition. What I didn't tell you in the beginning of this email is that my client went though two color changes after our first color.

I'm not the first, and I'm certainly not the last to do this. Is it smart? depends on who you ask and how you go about it.

When you're depositing color rarely do you have these issues come up, but it does happen.

I've done it in the past and have had no issues at all. I should have stopped, had her come back in after a week or so, and went from there.

Why didn't I?

Because my client was in the military and I wanted her to be happy.

Bottom line, I should have followed my intuition and had her come back to complete her service instead of doing everything in one sitting.

I've been a part of this industry for over 15 years and have seen and done a ton of stuff to some hair! 😎

We're not perfect and there's always something to learn from every situation and this one was no different.

What matters is that you learn from your mistakes so you don't go down the same road twice.

Oh and lastly, please don't try to blame the client for what you know was clearly your mistake. Take responsibility for your actions.

Never forget this quote…

“Every excuse I ever heard made perfect sense to the person who made it. ” ― Dr. Daniel T. Drubin

I hope you enjoyed and learned something from this.

Be blessed,


Marquetta Breslin

Marquetta Breslin

Marquetta Breslin is the creator of Million Dollar Stylist, Lace Wig Training System, Fully Booked, and many others. While she is known for her knowledge and wisdom passed on to other beauty professionals, she teaches her practical and inspirational lessons to people around the world on how to better their lives, their businesses, and themselves. Be notified on new articles, news, and events by subscribing to Marquetta's Daily Journal.

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