Redken Platform Artist Demonstrates the Consultation Process

I recently had the opportunity to visit Dop Dop Salon in SoHo. While there, I learned first-hand the importance of a well-communicated consultation between the stylist and the client. I walked out of the salon with a complete hair transformation that I might not have been so satisfied with, had Redken Platform Artist Lori Zabel not invested her time in a thorough consultation before any shears touched my mane. "I refuse to perform any treatment just for the sake of doing it, or make a cut without first finding out of the client's comfortable with it," she says. "And if the client requests a texture treatment right after receiving a color, I'll give them the products they need to repair their hair and tell them to come back in however many weeks it takes."

Not knowing the two major issues I wanted to correct, Zabel noticed the streaky, three-shades-too-light highlights running through the face-framing sections of my hair and its less-than-healthy V-shape cut that drew attention to my breaking ends almost immediately. I had also confessed to using an anti-dandruff shampoo for quick treatment to the changing weather’s affect on my scalp. Unbeknownst to me, rather than helping the situation, the harsh solution was actually stripping my scalp of its natural nutrients, causing it to over compensate. Thus leaving my hair looking oily and unwashed just two hours after each shower. We spoke for nearly a half an hour before moving forward, it was clear she valued the time that went into a thorough consultation process.

My "milk chocolate brown" front section highlights

To help address my oily issue and prepare my hair for a much-needed cut, Zabel asked her assistant, Andrea Laug, to lather my hair up with Redken Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo, which removed the build-up of copper, iron and other minerals from my hair. For added cleansing power and to rebalance my scalp’s Ph levels, Laug also washed it with Série Expert Instant Clear by L'Oréal Professionnel, which clears up dandruff in just three to five washes. Next came the cut. Before any shears touched my hair. Zabel explained each snip she planned to make. I said “yes” to it all. To give my hair some volume and allow for it to hold a curl longer when styled, she added invisible layers throughout. For face framing that accentuated my cheekbones, she added fringe around the face to my previously one-length cut. Given the length of my hair, she suggested making the back appear to be all one length rather than shaped to be longer in the middle, what I call the “horsetail cut.” Once the cut was complete, the stark line denoting my highlights from my natural color was made all the more apparent.

The "Lori Zabel Special" using Redken Shades EQ Cream

The colorist who had added these before, failed to utilize a technique Zabel refers to as “ends with friends.” When incorporating highlights, colorists often focus their attention on adding color near the scalp and overlook the importance of ensuring the hair is thick through to ends of the section, making for a more natural appearance. Zabel used Redken Shades EQ Cream to take my hair from a “milk chocolate, back to a mocha espresso.” Using a technique her colleague called the “Lori Zabel special,” she applied firm pressure near the root, lightening the amount of pressure as she travelled down the slice for more natural color gradation. The highly conditioning, demipermanent color formula stayed in for twenty minutes before Laug washed it out with Redken Color Extend Shampoo and Conditioner.

Rich, Mocha Espresso Color Complete with Invisible Layers

Zabel then applied a dime-sized amount of Redken Style Connection Velvet Gelatine 07for a medium hold to the body she had created using a round brush while blowing it dry. Proving that strong communication during a consultation between a client and a stylist, I left the salon boasting a more natural depth to my rich tone and a healthier,  more flattering cut. —M.R.