What is a Client Record Card (& Why Is It So Important)?

As we return to our salons, our clients are going to return with hair that’s possibly not been touched by a hairdresser in six months. A regular trim is not going to cut it. We need to be prepared to do a full consultation as if every client is a new client and update their client record card. After all, a lot has changed in people’s lives this year.

What is a Client Record Card?

Conceptual business image for illustration of customer file, client data management or address list. By Olivier Le Moal

If you managed to get through hair school without learning about client record cards, I’m glad you have found this article. Every hairdresser should know the answer to “What is a client record card?” Don’t worry if you don’t, though, because I’ll teach you now what it is and how to use it.

Whether digital or hard copy, a client record card keeps track of client information and treatment history. Client cards vary from salon to salon, and even hairdresser to hairdresser, but they usually include the client’s:

  • Contact information
  • Allergies and medications
  • Hair type (i.e., fine, medium, curly, straight)
  • Hair & scalp condition (i.e., dry, oily)
  • Products they use
  • Base hair color
  • History of treatments with notes

The best practice is to review this card with your client before beginning your consultation. Update each section as needed, as even hair type and scalp condition can change as people age or their lifestyle changes. Now, these are only the basics of a client card. I always suggest taking it a few steps further.

Client Record Card vs. Consultation Card

What is a client record card versus a consultation card? Well, many hairstylists complete a consultation card at a client’s first appointment. Then, they keep track of services on a client record card. However, the best hair stylists complete a consultation every appointment. That is why I recommend a client record card that also serves as a consultation card; it’s better to update both simultaneously as one can greatly affect the other.

Most client record cards today are digital. So, it’s about customizing the software to where you can easily update it every appointment.

Vivienne Mackinder’s Consultation Philosophy

During my career, I have developed training systems for Vidal Sassoon, Trevor Sorbie, and many different manufacturers and salons around the world. Some of my former students include Mark Hayes, Creative Director of Sassoon; Steven Moody, Educational Director at Wella; Antoinette Beenders, Creative Director of Aveda; and many more. I taught each of them my consultation philosophy that serves as the foundation of every successful hairstylist and salon.

My consultation philosophy is to custom design a style that fits my client’s personality, fashion, and lifestyle, which I call the “3 wheels of fashion.” The philosophy takes into account the busyness of the world that they live in. We also have to complement their physical features, considering their hair texture, face shape and bone structure, and always being sensitive to the body type.

  • Personality
  • Fashion
  • Lifestyle
  • Hair texture
  • Face Shape & Bone structure
  • Body type

Your client record card should have a space that accounts for each of these factors. You may think that reviewing it every appointment is overkill, but a lot can change in a short time. A change in career, relationship status, health, and even a change in season can affect multiple factors. Rushing through a consultation or trying to take a shortcut (like looking at a photo reference) is not providing your client the value they deserve.

Why Client Record Cards are So Important

You may think you don’t get paid enough to conduct a thorough consultation every visit, but that mentality will get you nowhere. You should always strive to provide the most value possible, regardless of your fees. Clients will realize the value and not only continue to come to you, but also refer others to you. Before you know it, your clientele will grow exponentially, and you can increase your fees accordingly.

Client record cards are an efficient, reliable way to provide the most value to your clients. Just picture yourself in your client’s shoes. Which do you think makes them feel like they are getting the best treatment:

A) Standing behind them, talking through the mirror about what they want
B) Sitting in front of them with their client record card, discussing what would be best for them

It seems like a no-brainer when you think of the comparison, right? And, believe it or not, it only adds a few minutes to your appointment time. Those few minutes will translate into a rapidly growing clientele.

Who is Sitting in Your Chair?

I believe in the power of client record cards so much that I have developed a consultation training program for hairstylists and salons who wish to grow their clientele. If you are trying to figure out how to build a clientele as a hairstylist, then you should start with this online training program. I guide you step-by-step through 30 exclusive video tutorials to strengthen your soft skills.

Vivienne Mackinder’s Certified Consultation Training Program includes:

  • Beauty Beyond the mirror: How to create your brand and attract the clientele you want
  • Designing to Facial Shapes: Learn the science and art of facial framing
  • The 3 Wheels of Fashion: How to develop a style based on personality, lifestyle, and fashion
  • The Consultation Communication: How to achieve creative and financial success behind the chair
  • Developing Your Professional Image: Understanding the value of your image and professional style

This course can set the entire foundation for your brand and your service. And you can get instant access for only $197.

Plus! I can help you set up and customize my preferred digital client record system for you or your salon. It will organize all pertinent client info, making consultations easy and efficient. You can even set up pop up notes for each client, such as ‘looking for a big change’ or ‘client is going through chemo.’


So, what is a client record card? Hopefully, you now know that it is one of the most valuable tools in your hairstylist kit. It provides real value to both you and your client and is tangible proof that you care. It serves as a history guide as well as a current guide for the next steps in client care. By making the most of client record cards, you can grow your clientele faster than you imagined possible.

Check Out Vivienne Mackinder’s Hairstyling Master Workshops

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: