Longtime extensionist and educator, Bernard Ory of She Hair USA has a passion for passing on his extension expertise. As an internationally recognized expert in hair extensions and hair replacement, he is often hired by individual salons across the country to teach stylists the latest hair extension techniques. This experience has given him insight into the hair extension market.
After visiting hundreds of salons, he’s identified the most common reasons some stylists participate in extension training but then fail to develop an extension clientele in their salon. We recently caught up with Ory and asked him to share what he’s learned.
MODERN SALON: Why do stylists invest in extension training but then have trouble building a successful extension business in their salon?
Bernard Ory: While every situation is unique, there are three reasons I see repeatedly. The number-one reason is that stylists leave their training still not knowing how to sell extensions to their clients. The second reason is that after only a short time of training on a mannequin, many lack the skill and confidence to apply extensions on an actual client. Finally, the most disappointing reason is that the stylist did one extension customer after their training, but encountered real-world problems and never attempted extensions again.
MS: What can stylists do to avoid or overcome these challenges?
BO: Stylists really need the proper education and support to be successful. To make a meaningful impact on the extension education market, we knew we had to solve all three problems. That’s when we developed our exclusive live model coaching program. The most successful athletes in the world have a coach present while they are training. Why not stylists? One of the most exciting aspects of our coaching day is that every stylist, whether they are brand new to extensions or have decades of experience, can benefit from the training. The coach has enough one on one time with each stylist to provide personalized feedback and bring them up to the next level of performance.
MS: What can stylists expect on a coaching day?
BO: The educational experience begins long before the actual coaching day. Through a series of phone calls and videos, we teach students how to effectively secure an extension client, beautifully color match extensions to the client’s hair and accurately estimate the number of extension strands needed—all before the day of the class! Our coaching day starts with two hours of intense technical instruction and practical training on a mannequin to get the basic technique down. The real fun begins when the clients show up. The coach guides each stylist as they prep the client’s hair and then begin to determine the placement pattern based on client’s growth pattern, hair density and desired style. The coach continues to support and help the stylist during the entire service. Once all of the extensions are applied, training concludes with the cut. Extension cutting on a real person is an invaluable experience. Mannequin extension cutting just isn’t realistic. Mannequins don’t move around and they don’t have shoulders! The coach will stay on site until the final student completes their client. However, the training and support doesn’t end after the coaching day. Each student receives informational emails, videos, texts and access to an educator to reinforce the training and help them market and build a successful hair extensions business.
MS: What makes coaching day training so effective?
BO: First, there are so many critical skills that are mastered while training on a live model that can only be discussed during mannequin training. For example, consultations, color matching, hair density, growth patterns, hair prep, fidgeting clients and cutting. There are certain inherent limitations to mannequin training that are completely eliminated when learning on a live model. This fosters improved technique and confidence.
MS: Have you seen a difference in your students since offering this program?
BO: After coaching hundreds of stylists over the last year, we have noticed a considerable difference in the confidence level of the students. Now, every stylist that we certify has real world experience, confidence and at least one client. The trend in Hollywood tells us that another extension boom is coming and I’m confident that She Hair USA extensionists are ready.
For information on upcoming coaching days, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-855-4247.