Your client has made it past the consultation and is ready for an extension service! But with so many extension options on the market, how do you choose which is right for your clientele, salon and needs?

Saretta Bowerman, Owner and Extension Specialist at Blue Water Salon in Naples, Florida, orders from four brands and uses two different attachment methods. Her work consists of long, boho styles, bridal work, and balayage effects. Because of this, the extensions she uses must fit the bill for those trending looks. For others, she says the extensions you work with should fit your styling personality—do you like tedious, detailed work, or do you do something that takes less time and dexterity?

Bowerman says there are many factors to consider when choosing which lines to carry in your salon. These can be summed up with cost, colors, customer service, convenience and care.

“Do they have a good variety of ombre/rooted colors—if not, I don't even bother because that is what my clients need and want right now,” she says. “How easy is it to talk to someone? Are you on hold forever? Can you only order online? What kind of shipping do they offer—either overnight or two-day shipping is the max you want. How do the extensions dry naturally? Whenever I am testing a new brand, I wash and air dry a sample. What is the quality of the bond? Do your own personal research or look up forums online. The bond is SO key to a successful extension client relationship. You don't want slipping or stickiness or for the work for yourself to be really hard.”

Additionally, look into which attachment method best fits your needs and those of your clientele. Being able to offer different types of methods to your clientele is huge—that way you can always offer the healthiest most effective method for whatever type of hair comes your way.

Amanda Diedrich, known by her Instagram handle @blohaute, works with tape-ins, beaded weft and hand-tied extensions. She says these picks all depends on her clients’ lifestyle—the maintenance they’re willing to keep up with, their budget, and what they want to achieve with their extensions are all key factors when deciding.

For clients with thinning hair specifically, Bowerman says a single sided tape would likely be the best method because it is very lightweight and the weight is evenly distributed. Dietrich agrees, and adds it also depends on where the client is thinning and how thin their hair is.

“Most of the time I would say either beaded weft or tape in, but if it is really thinning, sometimes suggesting clip-ins is best,” she says. “Clip-in extensions are always a great alternative. I mean, they are still extensions, however they are DIY and easily removed rather than being a more permanent method.” 

Chicago-based celebrity hairstylist Alex Brown says if clients have extremely fine hair, she may only recommend a few tape-ins as opposed to a whole head. And, rather than using two

“If clients do have extremely fine hair, I may only recommend 2-5 tape in extensions for them instead of a whole head,” Brown says. I also love doing “one sided” tape in extensions on clients with very fine, thin hair.  One sided tape in extensions only use one piece of hair and a piece of one sided tape as opposed to 2 wefts of hair taped to each other.  This creates less weight and stress on the client’s hair and tends to blend into their fine hair much more naturally. The second I see any type of damage to the hair and/or scalp, I inform the client right away and find a solution to why this is happening (brushing too hard, not taking proper care at home).  If it is not improving, I will suggest removing them and not reapplying as the client’s hair condition is what’s most important.”

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When finding a line and attachment method that is right for you, most importantly, educate yourself. Ask coworkers or clients if there is a line that they have previously worked with and liked. Try it, take a class and see if you are happy with the results.  If you aren’t, there are nearly limitless other options.

The extension business is buzzing—how can you be a resource to your hair loss clients looking for a solution.The annual HAIR+ Summit is September 30-October 2 in Atlanta. Read more about your HAIR+ business here.

The extension business is buzzing—how can you be a resource to your hair loss clients looking for a solution. Read more about your HAIR+ business here