Ask the Extension Experts: Weft-Brained
We asked industry leaders about the latest happenings in hair extensions and how you can make the most of them in your own services.
What method creates the most natural-looking effect using colored extensions?
“Extensions are not only a great way to incorporate desired colors, but it’s also a way to finally have a color in your hair that may be unachievable with chemicals,” says Erin Hayden, Hairdreams master trainer. “Using multiple colors on your clients can make extensions look natural and can also add deeper color dimension into your client’s hair. At Hairdreams, we encourage using five different shades of the same color scheme on each client to achieve a gorgeous, natural-looking result. When approaching a client who wants a color that may not be realistic or you feel like using chemicals might damage her natural hair, extensions are a good alternative. For special effects, extensions are great because no pre-lifting is needed and, depending on which method you choose, the color can be removed easily.”
How can stylists get special-occasion clients interested in hair extensions for their big day?
“When a client comes in for a special occasion, she often brings along photos,” says Kristina Barricelli, pro stylist and Hairdo brand ambassador. “I like to start by indicating where and how extensions were used to complete the photographed look. Next, I’ll explain how extensions provide sustainability for the look to last its longest. Natural hair is quick to frizz and fall apart, but extensions last for long periods of time and will hold up throughout the event. Lastly, I’ll say that hair is one of the most important accessories you can use to amp up your look. Just like jewelry, you wouldn’t want to leave it off on a special day.”
House of European Hair
Why are hair-extension services so profitable for stylists and salons?
“House of European Hair, 100% Virgin European Hair Clip-In Hair Extensions, can be an extremely profitable service in a salon,” says Ron King for House of European Hair. “A woman’s hair empowers her and can make her feel invincible. This is a special challenge for fine-haired clients. When a woman leaves a salon, she wants to feel beautiful and sexy. The 100% Virgin European Clip-In Hair extensions are softer, lighter, smoother and can add volume, length, and color dimension that feels and looks exactly like her own hair. It also won’t wear heavy for them, and they color and recolor beautifully. We also use top-quality Remy hair for clients who want longer hair and have medium to coarse textures. We find the new House of European Hair, 100% virgin European clip-in hair extensions can be a helpful impulse purchase for a woman who has never had extensions or felt uncomfortable with heavier Remy hair. This equals instant gratification for the client as well as high-profit margins for the salon.”
Great Lengths USA
What is the best way to match hair extensions to a client’s existing haircolor?
“It is best to do a color match when the client’s haircolor, natural or artificial, is most ideal for the client,” says Alejandro Lozano, national educator, Great Lengths USA. “Consider all of the colors you see and how they vary throughout the head. You will almost always use two or more colors to achieve the most natural look. For very fine color blends, prior to the service time, custom blend the bonded strands by fusing together ¼ of a bond of color ‘A’ with ¾ of a bond of color ‘B.’ Great Lengths has more than 58 different stock colors to choose from and unlimited color options are available with the GL Custom Color Program. The base colors are developed and then hand blended to your specifications at the Great Lengths Factory in Nepi, Italy.”
How can hair extensions be used to mask damage?
“One of the many benefits of Hairtalk is that it can be used to camouflage damage created by a haircut or chemical service,” says Martino Cartier, artistic director for Hairtalk. “Simply apply extensions to the zone or area that needs to be concealed. Because Hairtalk uses high-quality adhesive and 100% on-cuticle human Remy hair, there are no harsh chemicals or risk of tangling. Simply put, there is no need to worry about further damage.”
Glam Seamless Extensions
How can extensionists create the best experience for a first-time client?
“Tape-in hair extensions give you the power to create a chemical-free transformation on nearly any canvas,” says Gina Bianca of Gina Bianca Salon, a certified salon with Glam Seamless Extensions. “A first-time guest receiving tape-in extensions will be amazed at how much of a dramatic transformation she can receive in a short amount of time with no damage to her own hair. Stylists can create a great experience by having hair on hand and educating the guest on what it’s like living with these extensions. It’s also important to have a very informative consultation and be prepared to answer all questions. Guests need to know as much information as possible. It’s helpful to have a care card with answers to the most common questions so the guest can be assured that they can maintain the extensions.”
What hair-enhancement solutions are there for clients who don’t want maintenance?
“As time goes on and things evolve, the technology in hair extensions has advanced tremendously,” says Tiffany Hoover, HaloCouture master educator. “Thanks to innovative companies such as HaloCouture, they have made extension effortless to apply with a design that would cause anyone to have hair envy. HaloCouture has stepped it up, while keeping current with trends and still setting themselves apart with no damage, easy-to-use, luxurious full head of hair halo piece.”
How can hair extensions be used in special occasion styles?
“Hair extensions can even be used in an updo,” says Vicki Casciola, artistic director for Hotheads. “I tend to lean toward putting them in regardless if she needs length or not, because it gives me more hair to work with and be able to achieve the hairstyle of her dreams and match the inspiration photo she has brought in. It makes the hair have more density, holds style longer, and can also give dimension in blonde or dark hair by creating the illusion of a more intricate look. Extensions make the updo have that extra ‘wow’ factor!”
How can hair pieces and extensions be used to help clients with thinning hair?
“Hair loss or thinning hair creates a void in clients’ lives that is hard to fill,” says Johnny Plant, artistic director at Evolve. “Evolve Extensions+ combines the speed of a tape-in, with no glues or adhesives, and gives you the look and feel of a strand-by-strand. They are installed in less than one hour, and there is no prep work or adhesive removal when reinstalling. When you combine high-quality, 100% Remy cuticle hair with this new technology and our new techniques, it makes all the difference. The secret is in our unique connection base, which lays completely flat, putting no stress on the hair. Our special connection points are beveled with a double-rounded edge to prevent damage.”
She Hair by So.Cap USA
How can extensions be used to help create or correct a haircut?
“Hair extensions are emerging as an essential tool in achieving client satisfaction and a skill that stylists are excited about learning,” says Bernard Ory, director of education, She Hair by So.Cap USA. “For example, fixing a bad haircut or altering a style by going longer or thicker wasn’t even an option a few years ago. Now, with the right coaching and education, stylist and client can decide on a style without limiting factors such as the length or thickness of the client’s natural hair. In addition, extensions are available in a plethora of colors, which makes them ideal for highlights and lowlights. It eliminates the uncertainty and damage often associated with chemical processing while achieving superior results in a shorter service time. Hair extensions have expanded our professional options, given us more creative freedom and addressed the changing needs of our clientele. They are quickly becoming an indispensable skill and a vital part of staying relevant in our industry.”
How can hair pieces, wigs and extensions help clients with thinning hair or medically induced loss?
“Yesterday I was visiting a salon, and I met with a cancer patient,” says Tina McIntosh, national educator for TressAllure. “She obviously needed a wig for daily wear. She also explained that she was the prom queen and was devastated that she had to go to her 40-year reunion in a wig. I counseled her into a synthetic wig for her daily needs. For her, more important, event hair, we opted for a European Collection human hair prosthetic wig to make her feel as great as possible. I was also able to order all of her caps, turbans and haircare products so all her needs were addressed.
“The second guest presented as an alopecia client, but after further consultation, she suffers from trichotillomania. She has recently turned a corner and stopped pulling her hair out. She wants to get out of the discomfort of a full-cap wig in Florida’s hot climate and requested seamless hair. It was a slam dunk, and the stylist was able to recommend the appropriate grade of seamless hair as well as the option of a smaller top-of-head graft to transition her out of the full cap and into an easier-to-maintain, more comfortable option. With so many new and exciting options, stylists have the tools to non-surgically meet the needs of many different concerns of our guests in the salon. It’s truly a rewarding time to be an additional-hair specialist.”