Getting certified in installing hand-tied hair extensions may just be one of the most lucrative things you can do for your career. With this handy skill, a high-quality extension supplier, and the right client base, your income has the potential to skyrocket.
In fact, learning the craft and getting certified is a very small (but necessary) investment compared to the revenue you could make providing this premium service. If the prospect is intriguing to you, there are many extension brands that offer certification classes to get you started. One such brand is Invisible Bead Extensions®, which offers group classes, as well as one-on-one training and mentorship.
McKenzie Turley, Founder of Invisible Bead Extensions®, knows firsthand what stylists breaking into the beaded extension space want to ask – because at one point, she had those questions herself. Now she shares her advice with all sorts of beauty entrepreneurs who want to make their earning potential limitless.
“No matter what method of hair extensions you offer, you can apply a few specific Do’s and Don’ts to every install,” says Turley. Here are her biggest tips when it comes to doing a perfect hand-tied extension install, as well as her tips on how to direct your clients to take care of their extensions at home.
Three things to do:
- Make sure you are always paying attention to the scalp. Check the scalp elasticity and make adjustments as necessary.
- Strive to keep your sectioning clean, regardless of what type of foundation or extension you are attaching. A clean parting will make a huge difference in the health of the scalp as well as the comfort level for your guest.
- Make sure you are properly matching the texture of the extensions you install to your guest’s bio hair. A healthy install that properly matches textures will ensure easier maintenance for your guest. If the guest has textured hair, install a textured extension so they can continue wearing their hair in its natural state. Improper texture matching will require the guests to apply more heat to their hair, and they may experience additional hair loss due to heat and styling damage.
Three things to avoid:
- First, don’t rush through an install. Oftentimes we get so caught up with this idea of “instant gratification” that we apply it to services at the chair where it should not apply. Remember, it takes five hours to stitch the steering wheel on a Bentley!
- Along with this, I have to caution against attempting a method without proper training. Although you may see quick tips and tricks for extension installs on the internet, remember that you are getting bits and pieces of the method. In order to offer this luxury service, you will need to educate yourself fully.
- Do not do an extension service without a proper client consultation. Take the time necessary to gather all the information you need to properly recommend a solution. You will also need to know what their lifestyle is, what their current hair wash and style routine is, and what they are specifically looking for by adding hair extensions. The more thorough the consultation, the better you set your guest up for success on their hair extension journey.
Home Care Advice
“Proper care is essential for keeping hand-tied hair extensions healthy and beautiful,” says Turley. “Good extension care at home also helps them last longer. Ask your clients to follow these steps to properly care for their hand-tied extensions.”
- Cleansing: Wash your mane regularly with a sulfate-free, extension-friendly shampoo. Do not scrub the wefts! Focus on your roots, then gently squeeze the suds through your extensions. Follow up with a light hydrating conditioner, comb it through the strands, and let it sit for up to five minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
- Prepping Damp Hair: Be aware that hair extensions absorb a lot of water. After washing and conditioning your hair, gently squeeze or pat the wefts with a towel to remove excess water. Then let your hair air-dry 80% to 90% of the way before finishing with your blow dryer.
- Detangling and Brushing: It’s important to thoroughly brush your hair several times a day. The Tangle Teezer is a good gentle brush that works on both wet and dry hair. Separate and brush through each row individually. Make sure to lift the hair and brush in between the rows to prevent matting. Think about brushing with the grain of your hair, working from the bottom up. Avoid dragging the brush through the applications near your scalp.
- Applying Product: Extensions tend to be dry, so healthy hydration is key. A light leave-in detangler or leave-in conditioner like the Goldie Locks Ultra Hydrating Leave-In Conditioner makes detangling easier and protects the strands from damage. Next, apply an oil or serum like the Goldie Locks Signature Serum to seal your ends (both your natural ends and the extension ends). If your hair needs extra moisture, finish with a leave-in repair cream on your natural hair only. Avoid applying protein treatments or heavy conditioners to your extensions, as this is not necessary and can make the wefts crispy.
- Blow Drying: Before blow drying your extensions, separate the rows and dry each row individually. Use your paddle brush or round brush to smooth your natural hair and extension hair together. Be careful to get each row 100% dry to prevent itching or chafing.
- Heat Styling: Extensions open up tons of fun hairstyling options – get creative and enjoy that mermaid hair. Many clients love to curl their hair extensions because the style holds for longer. Before heat styling, always apply a heat protectant to both your extensions and natural hair. Set your iron or heat tool to the lowest effective setting (ideally under 320 degrees) to avoid scorching or drying out your extensions.
- Protective Styling: Every evening before bed, work 3-4 pumps of hair oil or serum through your hair from mid-shafts to ends. Then put your hair into one or two low, loose braids to prevent friction and tangles.
Learn more about Invisible Bead Extensions certification training and their wide range of virtual and in-person classes at invisiblebeadextensions.com.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.