Ask Me Anything: What to Do if You Keep Getting Weak Henna Stains
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In today’s Ask Me Anything!, we’re tackling the following questions submitted from hennapreneurs like you:
[00:02] What do I do if my henna stains don’t come out strong?
[03:20] My clients don’t want to sign contracts. What should I do?
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Chelsea: All right, so if you are having an issue with the color of your paste or the color of the stains from your paste not coming out strong enough, deep enough, beautiful enough for your clients, then it's likely one of two things. Well, honestly, it can be one of three things. So the first is, you may be having an issue with the actual production of your paste. Definitely, you want to be sure that you're using fresh, natural henna because if the henna is fresh, if the henna is natural, it will be both safe and also provide really nice rich stains for your clients.
The second issue that you may be having is if you in preparing that paste, if you didn't- like, in the process of preparing the paste, if you didn't allow enough time for the dye to release from the henna leaf, um, then the paste is not going to stain well. Similarly, if you leave the paste too long to dye release, then that die starts to demise. So henna is like food, right? Um, and so when you prepare it obviously fresh is going to be best. But then if you don't use it immediately, it needs to either go into the fridge or go into the freezer in order for the staining potency capacity to still remain, for it to be possible, okay? Um, if you leave that paste out, um, if you leave it out for too long, it goes bad. Just like food, you wouldn't eat food that's been, like, sitting out on the counter for three weeks, right? So you wouldn't want to use a henna cone that's been out on the counter for three weeks either. Anytime you're using henna you want to make sure that it is fresh and it's natural,but then also, even in the time that you're actually preparing that paste, you have to be sure that you're giving it enough time to dye release. And then once that dye has released, you're putting it in the fridge, putting it in the freezer or using it immediately on your clients. That's going to be the best way for you, as far as quality control, to make sure that your paste is staining your henna clients properly.
The third possible issue that you may be having if you're finding that your pace isn't providing dark enough stains can actually be on the client side. So if you have done all of the right things - you're using fresh, natural paste and you're preparing it properly - then it may be a problem of your clients not using- not completing the best aftercare. Half of the issue is on our side - half of the responsibility, if you will - is on our side as artists to make sure that the quality of the paste is very high and that it's giving that stain or has the ability to give that same. And then the other half is that the client has to follow proper aftercare instruction. So you need to also be sure that you're talking with your clients about how they take care of their henna in the aftermath of their appointment: making sure that they are avoiding water, for example, making sure that they are not exfoliating their hands too hard, things like this, which can damage their stain, okay? So if that,-as far as that one's concerned, if you're having an issue with your stain? It's probably one of those things.
So I would encourage you to double check your recipe, double check your process, um, if you're making your paste to make sure that it's staining you well, right? And if you find that it is staining you well, but it's not staining your clients well, then I would touch base with your clients about their aftercare process.
So, okay, so this reader is saying that she has- she's having an issue with her, with her clients not wanting to sign contracts. All right, if you find yourself in a position where you have a client or a potential client who's interested in working with you and you're going to be working with them for any amount of time that's significant to you, then you need to make sure that you secure a contract for your services.
In my own business I have two options. If I'm working with a client's on a, like a small scale, let's say this is just a private appointment - like a one-on-one, maybe 15 or 30 minute session - then those appointments, I don't actually have a complete contract that I make them sign. Instead, what I do is on my booking platform, when they book that appointment, they also receive a confirmation that gives them some details about what I expect from them as far as their timeliness, their arrival, their being prepared to actually have services rendered. There also is information there about, you know, if they're late, then they may forfeit the length of- a portion of the length of their services and so forth.
So if you are finding that your clients aren't wanting to sign a contract and it has- and it relates - because the reader here, she didn't indicate how- what type of appointments these are - so if it is those, those smaller one-on-one appointments, then it may be that you don't need a full contract. Just having clear service agreement guidelines included with your booking process may be sufficient. Now on the flip side, if you're working with a client for a length of time that is significant to you, perhaps for an hourly gig or if you're working at a party or at an event, a bridal shower and so forth, then you definitely in those cases want to secure a contract. Not securing a contract? Not an option!
So if you're going to work in those sorts of capacities and your clients are unwilling to sign a contract, it sounds to me like- it sounds to me as though that person is probably not 100 percent sure, 100 percent invested in hiring you for those services. Definitely, anytime that you're going to serve clients for an hour or more of service or even a certain dollar amount, and this is going to be specific to your own business, a certain dollar amount or more, then you don't want to agree to be available without a signed agreement and without some sort of monetary exchange between you just to secure the date in time on your calendar, because your time is valuable.
The last thing that you want is to go into a situation where you have someone who is unwilling to sign a contract and you let that go and then you find out later on that, you know, they cancel at the last minute and the time and effort that you've put into arranging for, you know, having fresh paste for them or arranging childcare for your children or arranging your day around going to their event, perhaps you have to travel or so forth, you don't want those sorts of things to come up and find that your time and your effort has been wasted.